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ixii^^l^ <i^v'■.i•^ 

Go M. L 

no. 1^2. 


3 1833 01209 2059 





No. I 


1735— 1813 






"One generation passeth away and another generation cometh," and as 
each generation passes it becomes more and more difficuh to reahze the 
customs, the habits of life, and the thoughts of a past Age. 

Especially is this the case when the subjects of our consideration 
belong to a Religious Body which possessed such strongly marked char- 
acteristics as the Quakers of the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries, 
characteristics which seem strange now, even to the younger members 
of the same Body and are but little known to the generality of modern 
Enghshmen. And yet these men and women of a past age are well 
worthy of respectful remembrance, not only for the sturdy conscientious- 
ness which marked their character, but because they have had, in their 
quiet way, no small influence in shaping the England in which we now live. 

I have found myself the inheritor of a large mass of papers, including 
Diaries, Letters, Entries in Bibles, etc., etc., extending from the seven- 
teenth to the early part of the nineteenth centuries, chiefly belonging to 
the Eliot family, which entirely died out except in one Member of the 
female line — Mariabella Eliot who married Luke Howard in 1796. 


When I began the investigation of these papers I saw that they 
presented such a detailed picture of the thoughts and ways of the writers 
that I was in hopes that some matter might have been collected from 
them which would be of more than family interest, but I have found that 
they lived such retired and peaceful lives that it is unlikely that their 
sayings and doings can claim attention beyond the rather numerous circle 
of descendants of Mariabella Howard and perhaps a few Members of the 
old Society who may care to recall the ways of their predecessors. 

It is quite evident that this work eould have been much better done a 
generation ago, but the sense of the difficulty which I have constantly 
found in tracing the threads of the narrative, has served to impel me to 
persevere — for, if left over for yet another generation, many of these 
must drop so completely that the task might then be impossible. 

I am painfully conscious also that the work would have been much 
belter done by one who was more entirely in sympathy with the peculiar 
religious views of the subjects of the history ; but I hope I have not 
failed in reverent appreciation of their characters, and I trust also that I 
may not have written anything which can wound the feelings of any 
reader who still belongs to the beloved and honoured old Society. 

E. H., Walthamstoiv. 1893. 

These Papers were printed privately for the information of the 
descendants of the Eliot family and a few friends. Having been re- 
quested to bring out a public Edition, I have taken the opportunity to 
correct a few errors and to fill up various gaps from information which 
has since come into mv hands, for which I have to thank several kind 

E. H., IValthavistozu, 1895. 




i. John Ehot's Ancestors i 

ii. A Chapter of Accounts (John Ehot I.) - - 5 

iii. Two Brothers. John EUot II. and Phihp Ehot - 7 

iv. John Eliot III. Early Days 15 

V. A few words explanatory of what follows - - - 19 

vi. Brother and Sister. John and Mariabella Eliot - 23 

vii. John Eliot's Journals 27 

viii. John Eliot's Journals. His Choice of a Business - 31 

ix. do. Treworgy and Aspley - - 33 

X. do. More about Treworgy, 

A Journey in the Olden Time - - 37 

xi. The End of the Journal 41 

xii. A Crisis in Life 45 

xiii. John Ehot's Scruples 51 

xiv. Quiet Life 61 

XV. A Love Affair, a Journey and a Tragedy - - - 65 

xvi. Life flows on quietly again - - - - ■ 75 

xvii. Another eventful year. Marriage and other 

serious matters - - 77 

xviii. Middle Life. Ashmore 83 

xix. Mariabella Eliot. Pickhurst 87 

XX. Journeys in Holland and France . . . - 89 

xxi. Bartholomew Close ------- 93 

xxii. Sundry Letters ------- 99 

xxiii. do. The Civil War in Ireland, 1798 - 105 

xxiv. Later Life. Marriage of J. E's daughter Mariabella - 109 

XXV. John Ehot's Death 115 

xxvi. John Eliot IV. 121 

Appendix : Essay and Poem by Mariabella Eliot . - - - 125 


The Story of the EUots begins in the West Country. The carefully 
kept Registers of the " Society of Friends" show that in the seventeenth 
century there must have been a considerable colony of Eliots in and about 
the town of St. Austell in Cornwall. How they were mutually related it 
is impossible now to trace, but the fact probably points to a lengthy 
residence of the family in that neighbourhood. There is strong reason 
to believe that they came of the same stock as the Eliots of St. Germans 
in the same county. 

Among these, one Philip Eliot (or "Phillip Ellyott " as he himself 
spells his name) married Rebecca Chapman of Liskeard, and their eldest 
son, John Eliot, was born about 1683. It is probable that he was named 
after his Grandfather, for the Registers mention the burial of "Joh" Eliot, 
the elder" in 1692.' It is true that Phihp Eliot died in 169 1, but as his 
widow married again, it is likely that he was not advanced in years, and 
his father may easily have survived him. 

Philip Eliot had three other children, viz : — 

Jacob Eliot, who appears by the Registers to have married Priscilla, 
daughter of Thos. Gwyn of Falmouth, in 1731. He died, without issue, 
about 1740. 

Jane Eliot, married John Turner of Lurgan, in Ireland. Three 
generations later, in 1822, we meet with a descendant, by name John 
Eliot Turner, as a pensioner of his relatives, John Eliot and Sir George 

* It W.1S prob.ably this John Eliot who w.ts in Launceston Gaol in Angust, 1683, as n Qu.ilter (sec 
Besse's Stifferings, Vol. I, 126 and 117.) 


Shiffner, who paid for his funeral and headstone and his deists, including 
"malt liquor" and "public house." He seems, however, to have led a 
harmless, if useless, life, "reading newspapers, writing verses, etc., etc." 
(Correspondence between Sir Geo. Shiffner and John Eliot, 1822.) 
Rebecca Eliot, married Robert Wallis in 1704, and left issue. 

As we now come to four generations of John Eliots, I propose to 
distinguish them as I, II, III and IV respectively, beginning with the son 
of Phihp Eliot. 

John Eliot (I) who was at that time living at Liskeard,* married, in 
1706, Hester Chappell of Topsham, in Devon. The Chappells must have 
been well-to-do people owning various houses and lands in and about 
Topsham, some of which descended to Hester's children. 

Travellers by the Great Western Railway below Exeter are familiar 
with the pretty town that lies on the other side of the Estuary of the Exe, 
between Exeter and Exmouth. At one time Topsham was a place of no 
small importance as a seaport, being the nearest point to Exeter that 
vessels of heavy draught could reach, and Exeter was a very important 
centre of West Country life. Topsham fitted out a number of ships to 
go against the Spanish Armada and at one time carried on a larger trade 
with Newfoundland than any other port in the kingdom. But after a 
ship canal was made to Exeter in the sixteenth century the trade 
gradually left the town, and during the lifetime of John Eliot (I) we find 
allusions in family letters to the declining fortunes of the place and the 
difficulty of letting dwelling houses and warehouses. 

John and Hester Eliot settled at Falmouth, where he began his long 
and successful career as a Merchant, exporting pilchards and tin to 
Venice, then the great port of the Mediterranean, and probablv trading 
with the West Indies. It must be remembered that before the days of 
steam ships, Falmouth was a place of much more relative importance 
than it is now. Fhe magnificent harbour afforded a welcome refuge to 
homeward bound vessels, especially if short of provisions and wanting 
repairs, and it was the .station at which the outward bounds, that had 
perhaps taken three weeks in beating down the Channel, waited for 

* J. E. owned two F.irnis near I.iskeard called I.andazzard and GormelliL-k. It is possible tliat tliev were 
inherited from liis Mother's family. 


favourable winds to begin their Southward or Westward voyage. Many 
instances might be found in hterature of the long detentions which 
passengers experienced in consequence, but the two following will suffice. 
Readers of Henry Martvn's life will remember the distressing period of 
waiting, so near to all he held dearest on earth, before he parted finally 
from his native land in 1803 : and Beckford, the author of "Vathek" in a 
very different strain, gives a most graphic and amusing description of his 
experiences under a similar detention in 1794, before sailing for 
Portugal, bringing clearly before our eyes the Falmouth of old days, 
with the KiUigrew monument up on the hill, Trefusis House still 
inhabited by the Trefusis family, but already falling into disrepair, the 
Quaker Meeting with its "hemmings and hawings" (whatever could have 
induced such a man to attend it at all ?) and other details interesting to 
those who love that dear old place. 

Falmouth was also the recognised starting point of the armed sailing 
packets for the West Indies and America, as is commemorated by the 
bas-relief of the "Marlborough packet" on the house bearing her name, 
bulk by her owner ; and by a memorial tablet in the Church of King 
Charles the Martyr to a passenger killed in an action with a French 
privateer off Scilly.'" 

The old King's Arms, on the Market Strand — that picturesque and 
dilapidated rehc of former days — must have had many a distinguished 
guest who looked out through its round fronted windows, and have 
needed many a bottle of " Mountain " and Port in its cellars to meet 
their demands.t Now — "quantum mutatus ah illo" — its customers are 
cabdrivers and long-shore men. 

At Falmouth were born John and Hester Fliot's two sons — John 
Eliot (H) in 1707, and Philip Hliot in 1708, and a daughter, Ann, who 
married, about 1750, Edward Lambert of Red Lion Square, Merchant, 
(apparently son of Sir Daniel Lambert,) and died in 1763. 

She appears in family correspondence (1756) as "thy dear Aunt 
Lambert " and is pitied for living in " that dead and disagreeable place," 
Red Lion Square. 

* These sailing packets were Brigs, and some of the older Falmouth seamen can well remember serving 
in tliem. 

f A Spanish traveller early in this century complains of the Inn at Falmouth, which " .appeared ni.ignificent " 
to him, that " generous wines are inordinately dear, and no others are to be procured ; about a dollar a bottle 
is the price " *' they drink that the host may be satisfied with their expenses " ! 


The business at Falmouth evidently flourished, and in course of time 
it became desirable to move to London. I cannot tell in what year 
(earlier than 17 19) this took place, nor have we any gossip left about the 
family move, whether it was by land, over the rough Cornish roads, or by 
water. I do not know either whether Hester Eliot lived long enough to 
take part in it, for she certainly died before 17 19, when John Eliot 
married again, the new wife being " Theophila Bellers, daughter of John 
Bellers* of Coin St. Alwyns, so called, in Gloucestershire." She appears 
to have come of a wealthy family for there was property to descend to 
her three daughters, Frances, Rebecca and Mary — only one of whom 
married, namely Rebecca, to Sir John Bridger, Knt,t and from them were 
descended the Shiflfners of Combe, near Lewes. 

* John BcUcrs married Fr.incis, d. of Giles Fettiplace, of Coin St. Alwyns, "of .1 most ancient and 
respectable family." He used to drive to meeting in a CMch and six. J. B. died at St. Stephen's, Walbrook, 
London, 8-2-1725, aged 71. He had a son Fettiplace Bellers, b. 23-8-1687, who left the Society of Friends; 
wrote a Tragedy in 1732, and other books 1740-54. 

Theophila Bellers was born at the Grange, Chalfont St. Peter's, Bucks, 5-9-1695. 

To John Bellers is ascribed the credit of starting the School and "Workhouse" of Friends at 
Clerkenwell, now represented by the flourishing School at Saffron Walden (see the " Book on London Meet- 
ings," p. 361). He wrote many books between 1695 and 1724; among the family papers is a curious 
pamphlet, entitled, " An Essay towards the Improvement of Physick, in twelve proposals, by which the Lives 
of many Thousands of the Rich, as well as of the Poor, may be saved Yearly," London, 1714. It is 
interesting to notice how many of the proposals have, since then, been adopted. I do not know whether 
he was himself a Physician. 

t In Horsfield's Lewes, Vol. II, p. 130, is a pedigree of Bridger. John Bridger knighted at the 
coronation of George III in 1761. He died 1817. His wife died 1803. Mary Bridger, sole heiress, was 
born 22 Dec. 1765: she ni. George Shiffner, Esq. (h. 1762) who created a Baronet in 1818. He was 
M.P. for Lewes in 5 Parliaments. Issue 4 sons and 4 drs. The family still flourishes at Coombe Place, 



I have before me John EHot's "Ballance Book", showing the statement 
of his accounts from year to year, kept with exquisite neatness, from 
1 72 1 to 1 76 1. It is very interesting, as showing the gradual growth of 
his property from about ^10,000 to nearly ^100,000, in spite of had 
years as well as good ones. The largest increase I can find is in 1747, 
when it amounted to ^7,586 10 o ; but in some years it was very small, 
indeed in 1729 and 1730 he lost pretty heavily, and this apparently caused 
him to take less pleasure in entering his balances year by year, and the 
pages are blank until things had begun to mend again. He grew rich by 
saving as well as by earning, for in this same year, 1747, his total 
expenses were only ^960 17 i, made up as follows: — 




Exp. on sickness 

• 32 



• 349 



Clothing ... 

. 160 



Rent and Taxes ... 

. 121 



• 74 



Pettys and Gifts 

. lOI 



Coach and Horses 

. 121 






" Pettys and Gifts" were rather a heavy item this year. Sometimes this 
item only amounted to about ^36 and in 1732 " Gifts" appear as a 
separate item at ^8 12 o ! in a total expenditure of ^766 5 9. In his 
later years when he was, in reality and by repute, a rich man, and had a 
house at Croydon and another in Bartholomew Lane, London, with three 
daughters at home, who were by no means "plain friends", his expenditure 
never amounted to ^lioo in one year. His descendants would be glad 


I72I— I761 

to be able to keep up two houses, and a "coach and horses" for this 
annual sum ! 

We can form some idea of the nature of his business from various 
entries. Thus, in 1746, he had shares in four ships — one of which, the 
Theophila (doubtless named after his wife) brought in no less than 
;^I743 this year. Fie also made large .sums b}- "merchant ventures" or 
consignments of goods sent abroad : one entry, in 1747, being a profit of 
^1472 on Woollen Goods sent to the Spanish West Indies. 

I am able to trace the details of some such ventures in another family 
account book of about the same date, thus, in a "Voyage to Vera Cruz'" 
the venture appears to have been about ^84, and the balance of profit 
;^I54, and on a voyage to Buenos Ayres a venture of ^81 seems to yield 
a profit of ^233. 

He was also an Underwriter, in the days when the premiums paid for 
insurance were very different from those received by Underwriters in 
these days, as the following examples will show. 


London to New \ ork ... 15 per cent 

London to Leghorn ... 10 

China to London ... ... 12 

Rotterdam to London ... i 

Woodbridge to Rotterdam ... 2 
Poole to Lisbon ... ... 4 

Petersburg to London ... 5 

The rates in the present day for the same classes of ships are, I am 
informed, about as follows : — 

Summer 17/6 Winter 25/- per cent 
„ 20/- „ 25/- „ „ 

... about 50/- per cent 

Summer 6/8 Winter 10/- per cent 
6/8 „ 10/- „ „ 

12/6 „ 15/- „ „ 

10/- „ 30/- „ „ 

In his later years I find less allusions to business transactions, and his 
money was mostly safely invested in Bank Stock, Bank Annuities, India 
Bonds and the like. 

The Theophila was sold in 1757. 

London to New York 
London to Leghorn 
China to London 
Rotterdam to London 
Woodbridge to Rotterdam 
Poole to Lisbon 
St. Petersburg to London 



Let us now turn back to John Eliot's two sons, John (II) and Philip. 
We find little trace of their childhood except the fact of their being at 
school with one Alexander Arscott, in 172 1. They cost their father 
£121 10 6, out of a total expenditure of /507 3 o, in that year. 

In 1729 we notice that J. E. gave his son John ^50 "to buy himself a 
suit of clothes, &c." (he being then come of age.) I have a miniature of 
him, perhaps in this very suit of clothes ; he appears a pleasant-looking 
young man, handsomely dressed and with a flowing white wig. (A wig 
cost 50/-, for we find an entry for "2 wiggs ^5," possibly these were for 
the two young men.) 

The following letter, in the same year, from John Eliot, Sen. to his 
Mother links together pleasantly the three generations. One would 
hardly lancy on reading it that the two labourers, so kindly oftered for 
the old lady's harvest field, were rather smart 3'oung men of 22 and 21, 
respectively. "Phill" seems to have been the chatterbox of the pair. 
What a pleasure it must have been to the young men to get back to their 
beautiful native county of Cornwall. 

"London, 18 July, 1729. 

" Hon'^ Mother, 

" I have lately herd i'rom Bro^ Jacob who advises me of thy health 
"as well as may be expected— for which I am truly thankful — he further 

8 ELIOT PAPERS 1 729 — 1 734 

" adds thou observes I do not write as often as heretofore. I do assure 
" thee it is not from want of duty or due regard, but when mj' Father* 
" was Uveing I had severall occasions of business y' I have not now — 
" however to make amends I have sent Phihp down to Topsham from 
"whence his Bro^ John and him are to make thee a Visit very soon and 
" if thee wants labourers in thy Harvest set them to work. 

" My spouset and her four+ daughters keeps in y^ Country, y' I am 
" now alone in Town, but I lodge here only Two nights in y^ Week. 
" I shall not enlarge on the growth of thy Grandaughters, knowing that 
" Phill will entertain thee agreeably enough on y' head. He will be in 
" Topsham to-morrow being Satturday and believe with you y^ end of 
" next (? week). 

" Wee have all our health and desire thou will want for nothing y' may 
" contribute to thine. Wee all jovne in Duty to thee which concludes 
" Thy Dutyfull ' 
" Son 

"Jno. Eliot." 

Of the elder of these two brothers and travelling companions we have 
singularly lew details, considering how much we know of other members 
of the family. I have hitherto failed to find a single specimen of his 
handwriting unless it be in an account book and one receipt. There is 
a charmingly executed miniature of him in a gold locket, engraved "John 
Eliot of London Merchant" with the dates of his birth and death. He 
was, like his father, brother, son and grandson, a Merchant of London, 
and, probably, an Underwriter. 

On the nth April, 1734, he married Mariabella Farmborough Briggins, 
the daughter of another London Merchant about whose family we shall 
have much to say further on. His Mother-in-Law records in her Bible, 
" My dafter § Mariabella Farmborough Briggins was married to John 
" Elliot, att Devonshire House Meeting and Their was a great deal of 
" Company and the dinner was kept at Pontack's. Wee all stayed and 
" the Women drank Tea and wee and his Father and Mother and his 

* This must refer to liis Stepfather, Robert May, his own father died when he was about 9 years old. 
7 His second wife, Theophila. 

X One daughter, Ann, of the first family, and three of the second family. 

§ The contraction "dafter" for daughter is frequently used in the MSS. of the Briggins family. 1 do not 
remember to liave met with it elsewhere. 

1734 — 1735 ELIOT PAPERS 9 

" Brother Philip and his fore Sisters and their Cousin T. WaUis and my 
" said Sone and dafter EHot all came and stayed super. Wee parted with 
" all the other Relations on both sides att Pontack's. Their was a great 
" many relations and others." 

On the 14th, " My Brother and Sister Eliot and Cos. Philip and their 
"4 Sisters meet us att B. & Mouth Meeting" (Bull and Mouth Meeting 
House, near the General Post Office, now pulled down) "being the first 
" day of Easter and thev all went to our Hous and dined with us and in 
" V"" afternoon we all but my G. B. went in 2 Coaches to Gratious Street" 
" (Gracechurch Street) meeting. After Meeting I and my Hannah went 
" to see my Son and dafter How, hee had been very ill. Brother Eliot's 
" family and my Son and dafter Eliot they all went to Kinsinton Gardens 
" and came back and suped at my Brother Eliots House and after super 
" my Son and dafter Eliot came home to our House." 

On the 28th, " My son Eliot had my dafter and his wife home to 
" his house on Garlick Hill and my dafter's Hannah and Gulielma went 
" with them and my Brother and Sister Eliot and their children met them 
" their and all suped their." 

Garlick Hill, where the young couple made their home with the 
younger brother Philip as an inmate, is one of the yery old London 
Streets, between Upper Thames Street and Cannon Street, near the 
present Mansion House Station, having Great St. Thomas Apostle at the 
one end and St. James Garlickh3^the at the other. It now contains only 
warehouses and offices, but at that time it was no doubt occupied by 
comfortable dwelling houses of London Merchants. 

Their married hfe was sadly short. The ne.xt entry in Mariabella 
Briggins' Bible reads thus : — 

1735, December 19. "My Son John Elliot's Birthday. Just 28 years 
' old and the 19th day my Son John Elliott departed this life at his house 
' on GarHck Hill. The 2 Doctors say an infectious feavour. He lay 
' about 12 days. He left one Son not a year old 

" The 26th May Son John Eliot was carried from his house in a herse 
' and 6 horses to Croydon to be buried in Eriends Burying Ground. 
' 12 coaches and 4 horses to each coach for relations and there was, 
' after the Buriall was over, at an Inn, a cold entertainement for all that 
' was at my Son Elliott's burial, very plentifully and they say that there 
' was caire taken that y" remainder of y« victuals should be given to poor 
' Friends." 


The Receipt in John HUot's handwriting, mentioned on page 8, 
is as follows : — 

" ReC* y^ 8 Decemb'' 1735 of my Brother Philip Eliot eighteen pounds 
"five shillings in full for a Quarters Board and Rent of a Stall in the 
" Stable to the 30' 9^'" last. 

^18 5 o 

"John Ehot Junr." 
Philip Eliot appends to it a long memorandum, beginning : — 
" The above receipt w^as written the day that he first complained of 
" his illness" and then follows an account of his last days and his parting 
with his family. " He ordered his wife to be called and in the most 
" affectionate manner embraced her and took his leave of her in a most 
" solemn manner and bade her farewell saying that now his pleasures in 
"this world are at an end and desiring that his dear Babe may be 
" brought up in a plain, virtuous, sober and religious life and educations. 
" He allways in his lifetime made it his study to live a religious and 
" sober Ufe, having the fear of God before his eyes ; by Whose assistance 
" he became very serviceable to his friends and relations, more especially 
" to his dear wife and child and myself, whom I may venture to say, next 
" to his wife and child he loved as himself. Oh the excellent good 
" advice he always on proper times gave me ; it was like balsam to a 
" wounded conscience and would oftentimes melt us both into tears . . 
" I must truly say that such times to me was y^ greatest pleasure and 
" truest delight I ever enjoyed. My dear deceased brother declared in 
" the presence of his Docf= w'^ was Sir Hans Sloane and Docf Crew and 
" his Bro'' How that there was nothing that gave him uneasiness on his 
" mind but that it was a great Calmness and serenity and trust in God. 
" I pray . . . that the Lord would be a husband to her '" (the young 
widow) " and a father to y'^ Fatherless and a comfort in her distress for 
" they dearly loved each other and it was impossible to know which loved 
" best, each striving to out do each other ; (was there more such 
" affectionate marriages it would not then be such Bugbear as it seems 
" now to be.)" 

(The last sentence, in brackets, P. E. afterwards crossed out.) 
The son who was left (John Eliot III.) was born on the 2nd February, 
1734/5, and a daughter, Mariabella, four months after her father's death, 
on the 1 2th April, 1736. In a letter from Philip Eliot to his nephew 

1736 — 1749 ELIOT PAPERS II 

many years afterwards we have a touching mention of the dying father's 
prayers for the infant son whom he was leaving. 

We shall hear much more about these two children a few years later, 
but, in the meantime, we must say something about the Uncle Philip 
Eliot, who remained a bachelor all his days, and was evidently the most 
watchful and anxious of guardians to the nephew and niece, left entirely 
orphans by the death of their Mother, in 1747, when the boy was only 
12 years old. 

Of Philip Eliot's personal history we have the following interesting 
iMemorandumi under date, 3rd month 27th, 1739. 

" Philip Eliot a young man from London, who did exceed many in the 
" gaiety and vanity of this life, until the Lord in his tender mercy visited 
" him and called him by his Grace : and as he gave up to the heavenly 
" call he forsook his former way of life, bis old associates and companions 
" and took up the cross, denying himself of these follies and vanities he 
" was before captivated with, to the wonder and amazement of many who 
" were acquainted with him before. He came over to see some relations 
" in the North of Ireland and to settle (with) correspondents in Cork and 
" Dublin, and as the Lord was pleased to open his mouth in a public 
" testimony before he left home, he had meetings at some places in his 
" way, and tho' but short in the expressive part of his testimony yet was 
" attended with a good degree of life and proved to the comfort and 
" satisfaction of friends . . Note. He was educated amongst Friends." 

Philip Eliot evidently continued an earnest and energetic minister of 
the Society of Friends until his death, in 1759. The copies of many of 
his letters are preserved — addressed to leading members of the Society 
on religious matters. 

The following letter from him on family affliirs, in 1749, tells its own 

" LONDON y^ 8''' 7bre 1749. 
"Honoured Father, 

" Since our last Conference I have considered very maturely 
" the treaty of marriage now in hand between my Sister and Edward 
" Lambert & as its an affair of the highest importance and which cannot 
" be altered after Solemnization, it behoves every one who has any share 
" or interest in the party concerned to show their reasons before the 
" Nuptialls is accomphshed, why they dissent in Judgment : which as I 


" apprehend by the tyes of nature I have an undoubted right to offer my 
" thoughts upon this weighty aflair, and either to approve or disapprove 
" as the Circumstances appear, without being lyable of suflfering thy re- 
" sentment because I differ in opinion from thee. For the more my 
" thoughts have been engaged therein, the more, I apprehend, I see 
" fresh foundation of unhappyness both as to herself and friends : and 
" therefore I crave thy patience to give these few hnes a reading and not 
" to condemn the whole in case any part thereof is not agreeable. For 
" I assure thee I have nothing else in view but my Sister's welfiire and 
" that, to me, is more valuable than Life itself. 

" In the first place, the principal point w*^'' appears so strong in my 
" view is with regard to y<= difference of religion, which I find has not that 
"weight with thee as I could wish. Neither has it ever appeared that 
" thou was (not) oversanguine in y" promoting such allyances : always 
" judging those that professed religion with not (being) sincere, having 
" other motives in view than honesty — and therefore all such was 
" slighted and even not allowed the common civilities that was necessary 
" in such cases, greatness and grandeur being the principall things in view. 
" Nothing less than nobility or men of large estates, where earthly 
" Homage was to be paid was looked at : and w''' such notions thy 
" daughters have been fed from childhood, as if their birth in this world 
" was only designed for pleasure and recreation and their Souls never 
"accountable to him that gave them. In this state they have been 
" educated and food proper for such dispositions has been given and 
"yett notwithstanding I have seen at times the Almighty hand secretly 
" at work when it has been out of their power even to hyde the blessed 
" effects it produced : and I must say had there been as much care to 
" nurture that noble principle as there was to encourage pride, thy 
" daughters would have been a blessing to themselves and to Society. 
" Before I leave this subject I must crave Liberty to dissent in Judg- 
" ment with respect to two great fitts of sickness my Sister was visited 
"with. The first was in the lifetime of my late Mother, the other 
" since, both which I have good reason to believe was a visitation from 
"the Almighty in order to rectify her Inside and so form both Soul and 
" body for his peculiar use and service : and that her illness had no 
" tendency to that which is vulgarly called Histericks in Women & 
" Vapours in Men, names commonly given bv Physicians when they 


"can't comprehend the Disorder. Therefore its no wonder their 
" prescriptions has such bad tendency with it, seeing their knowledge 
" being only the production of their Studys — and as for reveald reHgion 
" very few knows what it means — and therefore (they) are not proper 
"Judges with regard to the malady of the soul : so that oftentimes when 
"such uncommon cases come under their notice they very frequently 
" hurry many a fine and tender plant out of their senses by applying 
" one thing for another. This was her case, her mind was distress'' — a 
" Fire burned — anguish seized her Soul — noe helps properly adminis- 
" tered — Death appeared, the soul not prepared — bitter cries issued for 
" Peace — a Salve was given that y^ violence of y'= disorder caused the 
" Head to be light — all complaints of unfitness to dye proceeded from 
" the want of right understanding and therefore none was thought proper 
" to be admitted as her companions who could in any degree Sympathize 
" with her in that condition. So that notwithstanding she happily re- 
" covered, yett care was taken to drive everything away that had any 
"tendency of thoughtfulness out of her mind, lest by that means she 
" should relapse into that state which, if rightly cherished, would 
" contribute more reall sattisfaction to her than the increase of wealth 
" or y'^ grandeur of Mexico. 

" Thus much upon the subject of religion — and therefore shall proceed 
" upon the present subject now in hand and show that notwithstanding 
" none in the Society (of Friends) could be thought worthy to be thy 
" Son-in-law, yett the offer thou hast accepted of bears no proportion 
"with such as are esteemed in any degree answerable to what she has." 

The remainder of the letter enters into details of probable income and 
estimates of the cost of living and " providing a coach " which would he 
worth preserving if we had not the actual figures in the accounts already 
alluded to. Philip Eliot sarcastically remarks " This match being thus 
" settled, to me appears not so advantageous as we would naturally judge 
" from thy understanding, having been twice married : and therefore I a 
" little admire that Old Sir Daniel (Lambert) who was never suspected 
" for a conjurer could so far prevail on thy prudence to gett the blind 
" side of thee in making such a contract so greatly to y'= disadvantage of 
" thy Daughter and my Sister." 

After ending " Thy most dutyfuU son P. E." he adds a postscript : 


" Notwithstanding what I have wrote, her fortune entittles her to 
" y"^ keepg a coach when marryed and therefore she ought to have one 
" kept for her, she deserving more than that favour grant"^ if they did but 
" know her reall value." 

Phihp Ehot may have been caustic in his remarks, but he was a loving 
brother and I fear that his forecast of the match was only too true. 


Our next Letter is from Philip Eliot to his nephew, then about 1 5 years 
old, and is the first ghmpse we gain of the relations between the Uncle 
and Nephew. 

" London y" j"^ 10"' Mo., 1750. 

" Dear Nephew 

" I suppose last seventh day thou was at a Loss to know the 
" meaning of my cold behaviour towards thee, which proceeded from noe 
" other cause than thy own conduct and lest thou shouldst pretend 
" ignorance, I here, in part, set it down. In the first place, the little 
" regard thou pays to what I say : thou mayst remember when I spoke to 
" thee about going out of meeting before it was over, thou told me thou 
" didst not love to be reprimanded and went from my house with 
" displeasure and thy actions has confirmed the same ever since. 

" Notwithstanding thou hast come twice after, yett it has been more 
"formall than reall affection. All which visits I disregard and would 
" rather be without than receive them. I wonder thou don't rebuke my 
" Father for his advice. He is thy guardian and so am I, nay more, by 
"the right of thy Father's settlement and will, so that I am entrusted 
"with thy oversight in a double capacity, and therefore I think my advice 
" ought not to be received with contempt. However I plainly see thou 
" esteems thyself wise and knows better than others can inform thee, 
" being puffed up with the flatteries of evill minded people, that thy 
" station is fixed in an exalted state, there is no occasion to regard the 


" advice of any, for which cause thou contents thyself with one Meeting 
" a day and even that one thou regards not the time of its gathering. Its 
" often a full hour after the time fixed and sometimes later before thou 
" comes, so that its plain thou hast no thought of decency neither any 
"sense what thou comes there for — Such devotion may as well be 
" performed at home, in a CofTy house or any where else. Thou art past 
" the state of childhood therefore its high time thy understanding should 
" be occupied with other thoughts .... 

" As to thy late breakfasting time with y'-' family, that might be 
" rectified provided thou lyed not so long abed : besides I believe thy 
" Master would very willingly lett thee have thy breakfast sooner rather 
" than cause disorder in a religious Society. Its true some comes as late 
" as thee, but what avails that, seeing every one must answer for himself, 
" therefore those who desires to reap some benefit by coming ought to 
" be early in order that they may secure a seat out of the throng, that so 
"thy mind being quiet and fixt upon God in his own time he will appear 
" to thy soul .... so that thou shall be a Citty set upon a hill whose 
" light cannot be obscured and as a blessing to all thy friends and 
" acquaintances. Butt on the other hand, if thou should turn a deaf ear 
" to repeated advices and admonitions and persue thy own inclinations 
" doing that which is right in thy own depraved sight, letting thy own 
" wild ungoverned nature predominate by fixing laws to thy actions, 
" remember this — all thy hopes will be frustrated, thy expectations will 
"come to nothing, thy Fortune will be soon too strait for thee, thou'U be 
" a curse instead of a blessing to thy relations, and above all this be 
" counted an enemy to God — May this never be thy portion nor the Lott 
" of thy inheritance is the earnest desire of thy truly aflfectionate Uncle 
" Phillip Eliot. 

" P.S. ... I have often asked thee for acct. how thou spends thy 
" money, but hitherto refused, I find thee expects two Guinneys per 
" month for pocket expences, now pray consider where this will lead to 
" — if the first year thou requires such a sum, the second year thou'll 
" want more and so encrease every year as the time grows shorter — Dost 
" thou think this conduct will be inducem* for thy Grandfather and myself 
"to add to thy fortune — I tell thee nay — neither he nor I dont love to 
" enrich such who are not frugall of their own fortunes. I remember 
" very well the great danger youth are lyable to in having money at will 

1750—1756 ELIOT PAPERS I7 

" and spending it without control. I don't intend to infuse the spirit of 
" covetousness, for that I hate, yett as thou art endued with a good 
" understanding 1 would have thee act with prudence, redeeming what is 
" past and if thou hast not forgot all duty and gratitude endeavour to 
" discover thy true friends and prefer their company before those who 
" thou canst not edify by." 

That the boy of 15 did not resent this very plain speaking is shown by 
the fact that he endorsed the letter " from my dear Uncle " and replied to 
it two da3's after receipt. We have no copy of this reply but we may 
remark that the letter was only the first of many scoldings from the 
anxious and perhaps irritable Uncle to which the younger man in later 
years replied with exemplary respect and genuine humility, thanking his 
guardian for the advice given and asking him to continue to let him have 
the benefit of his experience. 

The mention of " the family " with whom he was living raises the 
question whether he was at a private tutor's or already apprenticed after 
the fashion of that day. I believe that the latter theory is correct and 
that he was learning the business of a merchant, for at an early age he 
shows a thorough knowledge of mercantile matters and writes in a way 
which implies that he had already gained considerable experience in 

I find no Journal between 1750 and 1756. I have no doubt that the 
young John Eliot kept very full journals* but that he destroyed them in 
later years, not looking back with entire satisfaction on that period of 
his life. 

In 1756, he travelled over his lather's and uncle's old ground to 
7'opsham, Liskeard and Falmouth, and we have several letters from these 
places chiefly relating to the management of the Chappell property at 
Topsham. They are remarkably well expressed and business-like for so 
young a man, but his Uncle was evidently afraid of his not being firm 
enough in his dealings with the agent and tenants. I think however 
that the Nephew has the best of it. As regards his traveUing, he tells 
his Uncle " You'll be glad to hear I know, how I like my Horses and 
" iMan : the first I am charmed with, especially Justice who is admired by 

* The pr.actice of lirr-ping a Diary \ inlieritcJ from his Motlier's family. Tlie Diary of her father 
beginning in 1703, is still extant. 


' everybody. I can't say so much of John : he does not do his business 
' with that cheerfulness and despatch I could wish " and again " My Man 
' gives me the most Trouble, he being of a sullen and lazy disposition 
'which makes me often chide him, but this I must say to his praise 
' that he appears to be very honest." 

In one of these letters there is a curious reference to the current 
events of the day, certain " Cellars by the Dock " being let " to one Dr. 
" Glass who hires them for sugar pans, his Sugar house betwixt this place 
"and Exeter being taken by the Government /(?r the reception of French 
^' prisoners r 

In a letter from Falmouth he discusses a joint venture with his Grand- 
father and Uncle in a consignment of Cornish tin to Venice, and other 
business matters, in a way which shows that he had a clear head and 
good power of expressing himself. 

His old Grandfather wrote him brief but kindly letters, as for instance : 

" LONDON 4 Aug. 1756. 
" Dear Grandson 

" Y" fro Dorchester of y"' Health gave me much sattisfaction, of 
' \\^ I advise y° to be very carefuU and your detaill of y'^ occurences of 
' y Travells did not give a little entertainm^ to y Aunts .... I 
'expect (?) y"" seeing in Cornwall every remarkable thing there, that 
' y° do not return a novice to w' that County contains. I desire y° early 
' advise me y^ behaviour of people to y and y^ remarks y° make of what 
' y° see . . . Your sister goes to Croydon on Friday next, where 
' yf Aunt Lambert now is. My best wishes attend y° " &.c. 

After this time we have copious diaries of John EHot III. to help us. 
I think it was not by accident that the journals which are preserved 
began in 1757. This was the critical year in his life. Up to this time 
he had evidently lived an outwardly blameless life, but he had as yet found 
no anchorage and the question still hung in the balance in which way his 
earnest and decided character was to develop. 


And here we may remark that for a young Quaker of those days there 
seems to have been no ahernative but either to throw in his lot with the 
particular form of religion in which he had been brought up, or to neglect 
spiritual matters altogether. They seem to have had no acquaintance 
with spiritually minded men of other denominations. I know of no 
instance in which a young " Friend " of this period threvv' off the peculiar 
restraints of his Society without turning his back entirely on religion. 
The Church of England appeared to them as a reprobate agency for seiz- 
ing their silver spoons for the support of a " hireling priesthood " ! and 
it is observable that they never seem to have had any sympathy with the 
other Dissenting Bodies, whose principles as to paid Ministry and the 
like were as abhorrent to them as those of the Established Church as 
we see from time to time in the diaries and letters. 

I can well remember the discussions that took place in the Yearly 
Meeting of the Society, about 1857, on the question whether the " Plain- 
ness of speech, behaviour and apparel " which their principles demanded, 
necessarily \\\s oh: tA peculiarity. The decision arrived at (in the negative) 
was undoubtedly right and, indeed, inevitable, when the question came to 
be discussed on the highest grounds ; though there can be no doubt 
that in giving up their peculiarities the Society surrendered one great 
means by which they had accomplished a most remarkable mission in the 
Church and in the State. But, in 1757, no member of the Society of 
Friends had any doubt on the point. The Quakers of the XVII and early 


XVIII centuries firmly believed that they were the " Chosen people" — 
" The Seed " — and that their doctrines were " Truth " or " the Blessed 
Truth." In the marriage certificate of John Eliot, in 1 706, they style 
themselves " The People of God, called Quakers" — and though this form 
of expression had been modified to " the people called Quakers " before 
the date of his grandson's marriage, yet the Society held firmly to the belief 
that they were called by God to bear their testimony unflinchingly against 
numerous opinions and practices of the world around, against which they 
considered that "the Lord had a controversy" and to signify the same in 
their dress and behaviour. 

Some of the principal points of this " Testimony " were : 
— Against the changing fashions of the world in the matter of dress ; 
theoretically, they never varied their costumes, but practically, they 
were always about half a century behind the world — against all 
respect of persons, as shown in the plural form of address, " you," 
instead of " thou," — and against the recognition of heathen gods in 
the names of the days of the week and of the months, hence 
their conversation could not fail to be peculiar — against all worldly 
titles ; thus we find John Eliot using curious circumlocutions in 
speaking of his Uncle, by marriage. Sir John Bridger, such as 
"J. Bridger who had been previously knighted", "J. Bridger, known as 
Sir John Bridger Knt." — against all outward respect, either to men or 
places, as shown by removing the hat, even in a place of worship or 
a Court of Justice and — against all judicial oaths ; both these things 
brought them into constant collision with the judicial authorities 
— against all war, and, consequently, against all public rejoicings 
and illuminations in celebration of victories ; this drew down upon 
them the frequent anger of the mob, who broke their windows and 
threatened their persons — against all paid Ministry of the Gospel; 
hence they refused all tithes and church rates (or " steeple-house rates" 
as they preferred to call them) — against all music, private or public, 
and against all "vain sports" such as hunting, shooting, &c., and, of 
course, all theatres. 

It will easily be seen how these peculiarities could not fail to bring 
them into painful and constant collision with the views of their neigh- 
bours. In early days they suffered repeated imprisonments, and even 
when this ceased they had to face the sneers and coldness of their own 
class, while the more ignorant mob often vented their displeasure in 
violent acts. 


It followed that almost all professions were closed to them. Of 
course they could not enter the Army or the Church, and the ditficulty 
about oaths seems to have prevented their practising Law. Medicine 
was open to such as cared to flice the petty persecutions "s^'hich they 
would have to undergo as students, and some attained eminence in this 
line, notably Dr. John Fothergill who attended Philip Eliot in his last 
illness, but who is better known as the founder of the great Public School 
for " Friends " at Ackworth, in Yorkshire, where many worthy and 
several celebrated men and women were educated. I believe that John 
Bright received his education there. 

The same difficulty about oaths precluded their becoming Justices of 
the Peace, although there were very many among their number who were 
eminently suitable for discharging the heavy responsibilities of that office. 
I believe that the first Quaker who accepted any title was the Right 
Honourable Sir Edward Fry (the husband of a great grand-daughter of 
John Eliot) who consented to be knighted on becoming one of the Judges 
of the Fligh Court. The second instance was that of Sir Joseph Whit- 
well Pease, Bart. These, I believe, are the only members of the Society 
who bear titles except the Countess of Portsmouth, a niece of Sir J. W. 
Pease, and one gentleman in Ireland who has accepted a knighthood. 

In all matters which did not clash with their peculiar views they were 
the blameless of citizens. Their unequalled system of Church 
Government kept up a standard of conduct which could scarcely be 
matched by any other religious body : and their principles obliged them 
to be as punctual in paying their debts to their creditors, and the " Cus- 
toms, Duties and Excise " due to the King, as they were resolute not to 
pay tithes or Church-rates to the Parson. To their poorer members 
they always showed the most generous sympathy and, as the pressure of 
persecution lessened, they became more and more conspicuous in all 
forms of philanthropy. 

What rendered them most difficult to deal with and, indeed, impossible 
to overcome, was the fact that they never returned evil for evil and that 
their resistance was always passive. You may put down rioters by force 
of arms, you may silence platform orators by argument, but what can you 
do with people whose lives are blameless and who are content to go 
quietly to prison or to have their goods seized without resistance ? 


" Vincit qui patitur " — and so it came to pass that the Justices grew 
tired of sending their most respected neighbours to prison, and it was 
vexatious to the Parsons to be always seizing the goods of their kindest 
parishioners ; and gradually the Quakers were allowed to have their own 
way, and they have made their mark indelibly on State as well as on 
Church. Few Englishmen in the present day consider how much of 
their boasted civil and religious liberty they owe to the patient 
" Testimony " of the old Friends. 

As regards their own inner life, the fact that their central tenet was 
the strong belief in the direct operation of the Indwelling Spirit of Christ 
on the mind of every true Christian, rendered their lives one continual 
state of watching for the shining of the Inward Light and of listening for 
the Inward Voice. 

We cannot too highly reverence the watchfulness of conduct and 
absolute devotion to duty which resulted from this attitude of mind, but, 
on the other hand, all their service for their Master was performed under 
the sense of a burden laid upon them, which bowed them down until 
they were " discharged ", and we seldom or never find them experiencing 
the "Joy of the Lord" as their "strength." And a still more serious 
danger to a healthy spiritual condition lurked in the background. If the 
impulses of the mind were the direct voice of Christ speaking to them, 
how could they distinguish the morbid scruples which are apt to assail 
every thoughtful heart, and need to be brought to some higher test before 
they are recognised as the call of duty ? No one who has not experi- 
enced the weight of the chain, can have any idea of the burden of these 
terrible scruples — a burden which, truly, " neither our fathers nor we 
were able to bear." 

Those who come in contact with the Friends of the present day, so 
rich in good works, so joj'ful in their service and so clear in their evan- 
gelical doctrine, can form little idea of the strange mysticism which 
deeply tinged the Quakerism under which the EHots and their contem- 
poraries lived, as seen in the religious books which they read, in their 
letters and in the copious extracts from sermons which form a large 
portion of the Journals which have come down to us. 

Note. Of the personal character of these men and women it is 
impossible to speak too highly. In going through nearly 200 years of 
family papers we do not find a scandal. 



We now come to the Journals of John Eliot III, beginning in February, 
1757. We find him keeping house with his sister, Mariabella, he being 
about 23 years old and she 21. 

They were evidently deeply attached to each other, and it must have 
been a happy little household. They were living in that interesting 
corner of Old London known as Bartholomew Close, where they owned 
several houses inherited from the Briggins family. 

The Uncle, Philp Eliot, lived in Bucklersbury, and the old Grandfather 
in Bartholomew Lane,* with a country house at Croydon. His three 
daughters by the second marriage were living with him : Rebecca being 
not yet married to Sir John Bridger. His second wife was not living, 
but I have not found the date of her death. The young John Eliot 
evidently had great reverence for his Grandfather and he held his Aunts 
in much awe. I fancy that, although nominally Quakers, the second 
family were by way of being grand people. 

It seems to have been the general practice of these old London 
Merchants to have a house in the City where they were close to their 
business, and also a comfortable retreat a few miles off, easily accessible 
by road, whither they could retire in the summer. John and Mariabella 
had no country house as yet, but that was to come before long. 

* The space now occupied by the Bank of England was then a whole parish of houses, with a Church. 


We may picture him as a rlieerful looking young man, with a wig, 
either flowing or close curled, (there were various forms in vogue) 
handsomely dressed in the fashion of the day, with rather long knee 
breeches, silk stockings and buckled shoes coming about as high up the 
leg in front as our modern laced boots, a coat with rather full skirts 
reaching to the knees, and long sleeves just showing a lace ruffle — a 
three-cocked gold laced hat with the point in front — not too closely 
cocked, which would be foppish, nor yet too shady, which would be 
unfashionable : a sword on state occasions and a gold-headed cane. (He 
had a gold-headed cane and buckles which belonged to his Father.) 
Mariabella would probably be dressed in handsome material of a quiet 
colour, cut square in front and with an outer robe much resembling a 
modern tea gown (which is probably copied from that period.) Her hair 
would be prettily dressed ; for the fashion of those terrible erections, 
several inches above the head, which we see in many pictures of the 
eighteenth century, had not yet come in. Their house would doubt- 
less strike the present generation as rather bare of furniture, but 
every piece would be a gem in these days — the chief decoration would be 
valuable china, and their sideboard and tea table would display plate with 
the family arms. We learn that their dinner service was of pewter. 

Uncle Philip Eliot, who was a " plain friend," would be dressed in drab 
or snuflf-coloured garments, with grey stockings and low square shoes 
and a hat, the brim of which was tin-ned up on the three sides rather than ■ 
cocked, the precursor of the " broad brim " so familiar in the first half 
of the present century. This dress was actually kept up till about 1865 
by two eccentric old gentlemen of the name of Bratt, living at Winchmore 
Hill, and it was commonlv reported that their property had been left to 
them on the condition of their retaining the ancient Quaker dress. 
There was also an old man named Marriage, a watchman at the Gold- 
smiths' Alliance, in Cornhill, who was often seen about the City in a 
near approach to the old dress, until some 15 years later. 

As for the outside world ; in 1757, George H. was on the throne : the 
Seven Years War was raging abroad, and Clive was beginning the con- 
quest of India, the battle of Plassey being fought in June of this year, 
and Calcutta having been captured the year before. 


It is observable throughout the Journal that there existed a strong 
jealousy on the part of the paternal Grandfather and Uncle of the 
influence of John and Mariabella's maternal relations. This was rather 
hard upon the young people, for they had no other near relatives of their 
own age except the Turners of Lurgan, who were inaccessible and 
moreover not very satisfactory. To this feeling may be ascribed many 
unkind remarks of the Uncle Philip Eliot about the Hows of Aspley, 
which do not appear to have been fully justified by the character of these 
descendants of the Briggins family, some of whom certainly turned out 
highly respectable and worthy people.* 

See pa<>e 103 and some notes on the How fan:i]v, Part II, pages 71, 72. 



The early pages of the Journal enter into quite Pepysian details as 
regarded the daily routine, such as — " Wednesday, Feb. 16. Rose at 7. 
" Wrote till 8. Wash'* my hands and face : Breakfasted (milk porridge) 
"wrote till 12. Dressed & went to my Uncle Philip Eliot's in Bucklers- 
" bury hearing he was ill . . My Uncle said a great many disagreeable 
■' things about my going to, and stay at, Aspley" to which I replied that 
■' being conscious to myself of having done nothing to deserve blame, I 
" should make myself easy under his displeasure or that of anv one else 
" . . In the afternoon went to Bartholomew Lane. My Grandfather 
" not at home. Aunts in a very ill humour. So came away and went to 
" Sam's Coffee House and from thence home. Read till 8, supped and 
" went to bed at lO. Dull heavy weather almost all day "; ending with a 
note as to his digestion. On Feb. 18, he found his Uncle a good deal 
better, and, one may hope, in better humour. " Left my watch to 
" mend at D. Bowly's and bespoke a seal of him with my Arms, &c." 
This is interesting, for in later years J. E. conceived such a strong 
scruple against armorial bearings, that he succeeded in entirely obliterating 
every trace of the arms then borne by the family. His descendants would 
give much to discover the seal in question. 

* Aspley, in Bedfordshire, was the residence of his maternal Uncle, R. How. 



The next day he subscribes for 30 Lottery Tickets at a guinea apiece 
and then goes to see about his seal. Further details of his washing 
arrangements before going to bed. On Sunday he goes with his Sister 
to " Peel Meeting." This was a Meeting House of the Friends which 
still stands, apparently little altered since his day, in Peel Court, St. John 
St., West Smithfield, very near that fine relic of old days, St. John's Gate. 
If the young people were living in Bartholomew Close it would be within 
a few minutes walk across Smithfield. 

To avoid constant repetitions we may say that he appears, even in 
these rather thoughtless days to have gone regularly to " Meeting " twice 
on the Sunday, and on Tuesday and Friday, either at " The Peel " or 
" Gracechurch Street," and generally adds a short note of any sermons 
which he had heard. Gracechurch Street Meeting House stood in a 
court, behind the junction of Gracechurch St. with Lombard St., near 
Plough Court. It was burnt down in 1 820 — when many valuable 
records of the Society were destroyed — but was rebuilt, for I remember 
it about 1858. It was finally pulled down some years ago. 

I fear that his Uncle Philip Eliot's anxiety about his ways was not 
always without cause. He generally went to bed at 10, but when his 
" Cousin How " was with him they kept it up rather late for those days 
— thus on Tuesday, Feby 22, he actually " Did not go to bed till almost 
" 12 — N.B. Jos. Lovell sent in by my order this day 2 dozen best Rum." 
The next day he remarks " I was very faint abt 12 this morning W-'' per- 
" haps might be owing to drinking Punch over night." His Doctor 
however, whom he consulted, recommended him to " leave off" Coffee 
'■ and Tea " ! On Feb. 25th " After Meeting went to How's (the gold- 
" smith's) and bespoke a silver punch ladle." J. E. had a curious habit 
of writing in French whenever he had anything special to say — perhaps 
he thought his Journal might come under prying eyes. (His French 
was not " the French of Stratford atte Bowe," but, on the other hand, not 
quite " the French of Paris.") Thus, " Went with Cousin How to Alders- 
" gate Street Coffee House and from thence to my Grandf^ II etoit 
" tres colere contre moi pour avoir prete I'oreille, disoit il, a I'homme 
" qu'il haissoit, savoir R. H." (the maternal Cousin.)* 

' J. E. also wrote occasionally in shorthand, hut he was kind enough to leave a memorandum that he 
never wrote anything of importance in this wa\ which saves his biographer a great deal of trouble. 


On March loth, in company with Cousin How and M. Zachary, he 
keeps it up till 4 in the morning, and consequently, is " not up till 10 
" the next morning" — his usual hour being 7. 

Occasionally he " puts on his boots " and takes a constitutional ride to 
" Endfield " or " Highgate and Mousewell Hill " or to the South of London. 
We frequently meet with the name of one, Judy Boddington, who was 
often with his Sister. The recurrence of the name might suggest that 
there was some " tendresse " between him and her, but I do not think it 
went very deep ; occasionally when they had not got on so well as usual 
she becomes "Judith Boddington." 

There are casual notices of the passing events of the day. " Stocks 
" fell from the apprehension of a war with Spain." " I am told to-day 
" that poor Capt. Godard of the Tuscany is taken by the French and 
" carried into Marseilles." " Adm'- B — g (the Bill being rejected by the 
" Lords) is to suffer at last, they say." 

May 21. " Yesterday we have the news of the Kg of Prussia gaining 
" a complete victory over the Austrians near Prague, and taken that City 
" from them." 

June 6. " India stock fallen 12 p. ct. on the news of the Turks having 
" ruined Bengal." (The capture of Calcutta by Surajah Dowlah, and 
the tragedy of the Black Hole took place in June, 1756. It is strange 
that the news should have taken just twelve months to reach England.) 

July 22. " There is advice of our settlem' Calcutta being retaken from 
" the Moors by Watson's Squadron." (? the re-capture, under Clive, on 
January 2, 1757.) 

Oct. 4. " Advice came by the Flanders mail that our Fleet under 
" Adm' Hawke has taken 3 Islands from y^ French in y^ Bay of Biscay — 
" viz' Isle of Re, Oleron and Daix commands Rochelle, Rochfort and 
" Bourdeaux whereby they will have an advantageous Station to intercept 
" all ships coming to those ports." 

Oct. 6. " An express come by the Viper Sloop from Adm' Hawke 
" with advice they say that Rochfort is too well fortified to make a 
" descent upon it." 


Oct. 7. " At 6 to Lloyd's where it is reputed our fleet under Hawke 
" is returned to Portsmouth — if so it went out to very Httle purpose." 

Oct. 8. " Now certain that our fleet is ref* to Portsm'' after taking the 
" little Island of Aix." 

Oct. II. "By a packet from New York comes advice of the french 
" having taken from us F^ W™ Henry, near Albany." 




After consultation with his GrandfiUher he goes to Lloyd's Coffee 
House, and " subscribes the book at 2 guineas a year " thereby, I suppose, 
formally becoming an Underwriter, for after this date we have frequent 
notices that he " underwrote a policy " or went to " Lloyd's " in the 
evening. It is evident that " Lloyd's " was still a genuine Coffee House 
like " Sam's", "Jonathan's", "the Aldersgate " and others, the names of 
which so frequently appear in the Diary, where business men met to 
transact their affairs — perhaps specially in the evening. Now Lloyd's is 
a vast range of rooms over the Royal Exchange, regulated on the strictest 
business principles — opening at lO and closing promptly at 4. A wicket 
gate closes the entrance to all but the initiated ; strangers have to wait 
without while the Janitor, in a stentorian voice, calls out the name of the 
Firm which is wanted, again and again, until someone comes to answer 
for it. Once through this gate, you find no resemblance to a coff"ee 
house except that there are ranges of tables separated by wooden screens. 
At the tables sit the Underwriters and their clerks, each having his 
special place, and the Insurance Brokers walk about with slips of paper 
in their hands, on which are written briefly the " Risks " which they wish 
" taken." If the Underwriter, to whom such a slip is offered, decides to 
accept the risk, he puts his initials, with the amount to which he will go : 


— generally one Underwriter represents several persons, thus John Jones 
may represent also Henry Smith, Thomas Brown and William Robinson, 
so he puts 











. R. 


When the Broker has sufficient of these " lines " to make up the 
amount to be insured he returns to his office, and has the policy made 
out, which is then taken round and signed in full by the clerks of the 
various Underwriters. The whole place is a scene of busy occupation, 
with trampling feet, heat, dust and a loud hum of voices. At one end, 
on a high stand, is the " Loss Book " in which are entered the particulars 
of any marine catastrophe, great or small. Thirty years ago, I remember 
that it was the practice that the name of any ship totally lost was prefaced 
with the definite article, thus " The Mary Jane " would show at a glance 
that she was totally lost, whereas " Mary Jane " might be followed with 
the announcement of loss of sails, or slight collision, or the like. On a 
morning after a heavy gale the scene round the " Loss Book " is an 
exciting one, everybody crowding round to .see whether any of the ships 
which they have underwritten has suffered, and many a long face may be 
seen when the definite articles are numerous. 

I believe there is still the survival of the Coffee House element in a 
side room, called the " Captain's Room," where luncheons may be 
obtained by subscribers. In John Eliot's time the Captains often figure 
in the Diary as being entertained at his own house — rather promoting, 
apparently, the consumption of the nocturnal punch. 



Frequent entries in the Diary show that the old Grandfather was any- 
thing but an easy man to get on with ; he was, evidently, ready to take 
offence at the smallest matter, and the Aunts — Fann3% Becky and Molly, 
who lived with him — were by no means peacemakers. I fear that his 
last years were not very happy, his wealth does not seem to have brought 
him entire satisfaction, and he gained nothing in peace of mind by the 
ambitious schemes which his son Philip so regretted. 

Occasionally, however, the Grandson found the old gentleman and the 
Aunts in better humour, and we have notes such as " at seven set out 
" with my sister in a postchaise for Croydon, got there about lO. Spent 
"the day with Grd'"- & Aunts. Deljate with the latter on religious 
" subjects. Walk^ out w'' them in the afternoon. Stopt & drank Mead 
" by Crombe Hurst. Hambg. Beef for dinner." 

It is interesting to note that in going to Croydon from near Smithfield 
he had to cross Old London Bridge — the only bridge then existing 
across the Thames. This is clearly marked by the fact that he often 
took the opportunity to call on his way to see a tenant in Southwark — 
one Oddy, who kept an Inn — the King's Head — belonging to the family. 

On June 27, he notes that he " rec"' a 1' from J. Trehawke at Liskeard 
" in Cornwall, about an estate to be sold there." This was the beginning 
of a matter of no small interest to the brother and sister, as will be seen 
hereafter. The estate was Treworgy, in a lovely situation between 
Liskeard and Looe. It was ultimately purchased, as we shall see, and 


remained in the family some 8o or 90 years, when it was sold (I believe 
advantageously) during the lifetime of John Eliot's daughter. On 
June 28, his Grandfather "approved much of purchasing the Estate in 
" Land in those parts." Evidently he retained an affection for his old 
home. On July 10, "Uncle Eliot" "does not thoroughly approve of 
" purchasing the estate near Liskeard, thinking it too far off." 

At the end of July, he starts on a visit to his Uncle How, at Aspley, 
near Woburn, in Bedfordshire. He sets out at 4 in the afternoon, and 
arrives that night at St. Albans, where he puts up at the White Hart, and 
being very wet when he got there, he relates that he drank half "a glass of 
rum " to prev* catching cold." Starting the next morning " betwixt 6 & 
" 7 got to the Sugarloaf at Dunstable by 9. Breakfasted on Chocolate. 
" Shaved and had my wig combed. Then proceeded for Aspley where I 
"got after a very hot ride about I." The next day's journal is worth 
quoting more fully as it has so many touches of old-time life, besides giving 
a favourable idea of the doctrine preached by the leading Quaker 
members.* The day in question is Sunday, 31, July. 

" This morning after breakfast about 9 Sister and Cous" Tibey sat out 
" in a post chariot, Uncle How, Cous" Hingsbery and myself on Horse 
" back for a meeting to be held at a fr*'^ house (Grimes) at Nash in 
" Buckinghamshire, ah' 9 miles from Aspley by appointment of Isaac 
" Sharpies. In our way thither pass'' thro' Bowbrickhill and Fenny 
" Stratford, at w'' last place we took a guide with a horse, a thing very 
" needful, the way cross y" country being very intricate &. Roads bad 
" insomuch that we did not get to the place appointed till near one." 

" Ab' 2 I. Sharpies and several more fr^^ came f"' another meeting they 
" had had in the morning. We all dined at y'= friend's house at Nash 
" who made us heartily welcome in their way, having provided an extra- 
" ordinary good Dinner considering their circumstances, the man from a 
" servant having just come into a little farming for himself. But Isaac 
" Sharpies, thinking they c'' not afford such an entertainment, we made a 
" Collection to give them. After dinner we all met together in the 
" friend's Barn, where seats had been provided to which came a great 
" number of the Townspeople, who behaved very quiet and well. And 
" Isaac Sharpies had an excellent time amongst them beginning with the 

'" I judge that Isaac Sharpies was a specially evangelical Quaker. 


" Apostle's Exhortation ' Try yourselves, prove j^ourselves, know ye not 
" that Christ is in you except ye be Reprobates.' That Light was come 
" into the world and men could not pretend Ignorance. That this 
" Ignorance was mostly wilful, as in the case of swearing, where after an 
" Oath some men would frequently cry, Lord forgive me, & yet in a few 
" minutes after w'' repeat the same, which was trifling with and mocking 
" of God. Whether they had the saving Faith in Christ, not a traditional 
" belief only of his bodily appearance on Earth, but of his being in them, 
" which faith is begotten of Christ, if so they would experience themselves 
" new creatures free from old Pollutions & Impurities." 

" After meeting we went 6 miles to Buckingham 2 fr''^ showing us the 
" way. Put up at L*' Cobham's Arms supped & lodg'^ there. Weather 
" fine but prettv hot." 


The next day they visit the gardens at Stowe. " This garden has 
" many fine Temples, Walks, Lawns and abundance of water in it. It 
" contains about 300 acres & 30 men constantly employed to keep it in 
" order. Belongs now to Lord Temple " — and then by Stony Stratford 
back to Aspley in the evening. 

He leaves his sister at Aspley and returns to London for a day or two, 
and then goes again to Aspley where, among other things, he discovers 
that syllabub does not agree with him ! 

The next day he writes " I went w'' Uncle How to Woburn & won a 
" pint of wine of him ab* the gate leads into Aspley Lane." (Really, Uncle 
How, I think this example for thy young nephew was highly repre- 
hensible ! ) 

Then follows " Saw E. Johnson who appeared very cold in her 
" Behavior tow''^ me," — and next day he " called at Ramsays to enquire 
" the cause of E. Johnson's indifl"erence but could not learn it." 

" E. Johnson," who appears in a former entry with the exceptional 
title of " Miss Johnson " was evidently an object of some interest to J. E. 
about this time. We happen to know something of her history. Her 
family were not " Friends" and her father was a Justice of the Peace. 
She was, however, intimate with the Friends and some time after this 
she became " convinced" of " Friend's principles" much to the anger of 


her family, and was somewhat persecuted for her views. The intimacy 
with J. E. never ripened into closer ties, but she appears to have become 
a great friend of Mariabella, and a companion of the brother and sister 
in a journey to Cornwall, in 1759. 

On Aug. II, he mentions a visit of two gentlemen to see Cous" How's 
library — one of them being " a foxhunter, tho' not of the rougher sort." 



Towards the end of the month he makes arrangements for a journey 
to Liskeard to see about the Treworgy estate. It is very curious to note 
how serious a matter such a journey was in those days. Among other 
things he is occupied in arranging for a companion, and finds one T. 
Walduck, who I suppose was to travel in the capacity of servant, for he 
"gave T. Walduck directions about the Horses and sent him with the 

On the 26th August at seven in the morning they start, and before 
accompanying them by the aid of the diary and letters we may just 
remember that travelling over almost exactly the same ground by the 
L. & S. W. Railway in the present day the time occupied would be : 
London to Exeter - 3 hours, 46 minutes 
Exeter to Plymouth - i hour, 42 minutes 
Plymouth to Liskeard 47 minutes 

Perhaps a hundred years hence our descendants may wonder how we 
were content to crawl at such a pace. 

They set out on the 26th August, " ab' 7 fine morning. Along the 
" new Road to Hyde Park Corner" thence by Hounslow, Staines, 
Bagshot and Blackwater to the White Lion at Hartford Bridge, where they 
sleep the first night. On the 27th they start again at 7 " without our 


" breakfast, the people of the house being all in bed." Through Hartley 
Row to Murrell Green to breakfast at the King's Arms. Through Hook 
to Basingstoke. " Bad roads to Sutton." Through Stockbridge to Salis- 
bury. "Got to the Angel at Salisl)ury at Dusk. Duck for supper, bad 
" house." On the 28th, " At ten this morning went to the Friends' 
" Meeting in this town with a person who of late has gone thither & 
" seems in measure converted to the blessed Truth. Meeting very 
" small and poor. Dined at our Inn, invited the guide but he excused 
" himself At two sat out for Shaftesbury. Wind blew excessive cold 
"over the plain. Put up at the Golden Lion Inn at Shaftesbury. Very 
" good house & attendance." 

On the 29th, "After Breakfast sat forwards, morning pleasant. Dorset 
" a fine country, woody. At the Angel, Yeovil to dinner. Here is a 
" curious Kitchen, filled with all manner of Rarities of the Landlord's 
" collecting. Mutton very sweet and good. Thro' Crewkerne to Chard. 
" The Red Lion : mutton stakes : indifferent entertainment. Latter part 
" of the way stony. My horse going lame of the near foot before, had a 
" new shoe at Yeovil — and both the horses shod round at Chard for the 
" Stony country : much rain in the evening and I came in pretty wet." 

30th, " Came away without breakfast. Coffee at the Red Lion 
" Axminster. Thro' Honiton to Exeter to dinner. Did not get there 
" till almost 5 in the afternoon because of the stony roads." 

Thus he took five days, of which four and a half were pretty steady 
travelling, to accompHsh a journey now made in 3 hours 46 minutes ! 

At Exeter he would probably have lingered to look after the Topsham 
property, but he gets news from Mr Trehawke " desiring me to make no 
" stay at Exeter, the Gent" Owner of Treworgy intending for London in 
" a few days." 

So on the 31st, "At lO this morning sat out from Exeter with Robert 
" Prudom. Dined at the White Hart at Oakhampton on Beefstakes and 
" Ducks. Went forward to Lydford to lodge. Roads exceeding 
" stony but the Country pretty pleasant on the right. On the left is a 
" long ridge of Hills called Dartmoor reaching quite from Exeter to 
" Horsebridge. Indifferent Lodging, the beds being taken up & got but 
" little sleep." 


Sep. I, " Got up at 3 this morning & sat out with R. Prudom at 4 
"fine morning, breakfasted at Horsebridge & got into Liskeard about 
" 10." We have seen that this part of the journey — Exeter to Liskeard, 
which took him one whole da}^ and six hours — now occupies about two 
hours and a half. 

After a day's rest he goes with Mr Trehawke to see Treworgy. " It 
" is about 5 miles South of Liskeard, pleasantly situated on a fine 
" River, which is navigable up to Looe about 2 miles distance. Situation 
"very agreeable, having a prospect of the sea. The House old-fi;shioned 
" but in pretty good repair." 

Two days later he comes to terms, namely, to pay ;^2,850 for the 
estate of 300 acres. 

On the 6th Sept. they " sat out with R. Prudom, Polly Cooper, Miss 
" Pitt and Morgan, the latter double horsed and P.C. behind Thomas for 
" Looe " whence they returned in the evening. On the 8th he writes a 
full report to his Uncle, concluding " Thomas is very faithful and active 
" which renders y'^ journey much pleasanter." 

On the lOth he starts on his return journey, reaching Oakhampton ; 
" Several French prisoners in Town." The next day he reaches Exeter. 
" Dined at the ordinary at the Oxford Inn with some Scotchmen and a 
" Parson who looked with an evil eye at me because I refused drinking 
" some healths they proposed." 

On the 13th. His first day's journey from Exeter takes him to 
Crewkerne over " exceeds bad road." The next day he dines at the 
Antelope at Sherborne, " where two officers' ladies made some remarks 
" to my advantage on my plain appearance." The evening brings him 
to Shaftesbury. " Roads extray fine and country very beautiful. Supped 
"with J. Williams and his wife on broil"^ Chicken & cold Venison 
" pasty." Perhaps the first, but certainly not the last venison from 
Cranborne Chace which he was destined to taste. The " J. Williams " 
was the seller of Treworgy, who was also on his road to London. He 
ends the day with the following instructive but mysterious remark : 
" An affected, theatrical air quite unbecoming ! " There is unfortunately 
no indication whether this referred to the "Officers' ladies" at Sherborne, 
or to Mrs Williams, or was written in self-reproach. 

The next day he visits Stonehenge on his way to Andover. 


" It is amasing how these immense Stones were got together, 
especially as there are none like them in those parts. Some imagine 
them to be a composition of sand and other materials, but I don't know 
how to credit that, they being exceeding firm and have suffer'* so little 
for such a length of time." " The ground on which the Temple 
stands is enclosed by a circular mount. It is about 2 miles distant from 
the Town of Amcsbury where 1 dined and they hav? exceeds fine 
bottled Beer, I ordered 5 doz to be sent me to London p Taunton 

I may mention that this arrived in due time and appears to have 
served in part as acceptable presents to some of his London relations. 

On the l6th. " From Andover to Basingstoke to dinner at y'= Post- 
" house. Fine morns, pleast Roads. Came through Whitchurch & some 
" other pretty Towns. After dinner had 7 miles to Murrell Green 
" where I expected to meet my Sister and Aunts but had a L'' from the 
" first giving me hopes of seeing them at Staines to dinner next day." 

On the 17th. " In a very thick fog to Bagshot, there breakfasted. 
"Got to Staines at 12. Met my Grandff, Aunts & Sister at the Bush. 
" Dined together in much love and afterwards went all to Croydon in my 
" Grand^"'^ new coach and a postchaise." 



At last on the l8th he and his sister reach London, he having thus 
taken nearly 6 da3's on the journey. On the 20th they have quite a 
party at " Uncle Eliot's." " Hannah & Judith Boddington, Betsy & 
" Molly Fowler — supped in Bucklersbury. Came home at night all 6 in 
" a Hackney Coach. Very cheerful together." 

On the 27th Sept. " After meeting went to Cave's, the printer of 
" the Centleman's Magazine and ordered a complete sett from the 
" beginning." I have been told that the Friends made regular use of 
this well-known Magazine for advertising births, deaths, &c., and that a 
study of its Advertisements might be found of great use in tracing 
genealogies of Quaker families. It is certainlv noteworthy that J.E. who 
at this time apparently confined his reading to Quaker books should have 
taken pains to secure a "complete sett" of the Magazine. 

On the 6th October he notes : " a.t }4 past 10 (in the morning) so 
" exceeds dark was the air that it resembled an eclipse, which continued 
" for a few minutes — afterwards fair." What would the good man have 
said if he could have seen our fogs of the present day which " resemble 
an eclipse " for days together ? 

Although the London fogs were bad enough, even in the days of 
Charles 11, to ruin the health of the French Ambassador, and Evelyn 
was commissioned to report on the best way of preventing their 

42 ELIOT PAPERS 1 757 

increasing blackness; yet this little note in the middle of the XVIII 
century shows that it must have been quite an exceptional thing then for 
the daylight to be quite shut out in the way with which we are now so 
sadly familiar. 

Frequent references to visits at " Boddington's," and notes that 
"Judith was away at Crayford," or "Judy not come from Crayford," 
make me think that the " cheerful " time in that Hackney coach had not 
been ahogether without its effects on J.H.'s well regulated but susceptible 

On Oct. 13th. "Had some discourse with my Grandfather & Charles 
" Savage ab* the Estate in Cornwall, also ah' matrimony." How I wish 
he had been more diffuse just here and given us some notes of their 
conversation. Did they discuss Judy Boddington ? Or did they 
merely contemplate the whole of the great question from a Platonic 
height ? And did the old man bring out the views about grand 
alliances which grieved his son PhiUp ? At any rate nothing came of it. 
Possibly poor Judy was discussed and dismissed ; but no ! for just a week 
later " called at Boddington's &. sat awhile w'' Judy." 

And so the quiet stream of life ripples on until the entries in this 
book close on the 4th November. One cannot help being struck by the 
amount of leisure for reading and writing and quiet social enjoyment ; 
often one or more guests dining (in the middle of the day) with John 
and Mariabella, or coming to tea or supper, and visits being paid to 
" Uncle Eliot," or " Aunt Lambert," or " Boddington's," or excursions 
made in company with pleasant friends to Windsor or the like. John 
Eliot's business duties evidently sat lightly upon him: he appears to have 
looked in at " Lloyd's " in the evening and to have gone pretty 
frequently to the Bank or the India Office to receive dividends — not an 
arduous or unpleasant occupation ! 

It is unmistakeable that as the months pass, there is an increasing 
tone of seriousness in the entries. John Eliot was thinking out his 
life's problem for himself, and going at times through terrible inner 
struggles. His little notes in French are often very touching. He 
sometimes found great help from his own meditations when the 
"Meeting" was silent, and at other times from the sermons of certain 


Ministers. " Grande est la paix quon goute dans ces Assemblees du 
" peuple de Dieu." Once, after his Uncle Eliot had been preaching, 
" Dieu m'accorda de sa paix et je souhaitois, presque, que j'avois comme 
" mon Oncle a precher I'Evangile au peuple." On another occasion, 
" Grande etoit la paix et la Tranquillite dont je jouissois ce matin par la 
" misericorde de Dieu. Beni a jamais soit son nom." Such expressions 
are frequent in the latter part of the Journal, and in the last entry 
" Dieu m'aide a porter sa Croix." 



The thread of the Life-story of John EHot is now taken up by a series 
of letters which have been preserved in so complete a form that they 
explain themselves as they proceed. 

It appears that John Eliot left London for a visit to one W'". Joyce, 
a worthy Quaker farmer living at Bexfields, Gaily Common, near 
Chelmsford. Joyce was either a connection or a near friend of the 
Hows of Aspley — and we may remember the objection that smouldered 
in the minds of the Grandfather and Uncle against all this family and 
their belongings. Hence it is probable that J. E. did not tell either of 
them of his intended journey, and they knew nothing of it till they 
observed his absence from home. 

Uncle Philip Eliot accordingly writes as follows, under date, y'' i6th 
nth mo. 1757. 

London y' i6th nth mo. 1757 
" Dear Nephew 

Thy absence from London causes people to talk very freely, 
" and more especially as thou art wanted by the Office keepers to make 
" alterations upon those Policys thou hast subscribed. If thou intends 
" to carry business on and more especially to be an Insurer, diligence 
" is absolutely proper to be kept to : for an Underwriter ought always 
" to attend and be in the way. But when it so happens that Pleasure is 
" more regarded, those who otherwise would respect thy Firme, will 
" rather despise it. 


" Thy stay at Gaily Common causes uncommon surprise both to thy 
" Grandfather and me as \vc cannot apprehend any pleasure that place 
" can afford to any man in business. Its proper to give thy attendance 
"and settle thy accounts with the Office keepers and then it will be 
" time enough to retire to thy delightful place again. I am really sorry 
" for thy unthoughtfulness and remain • 

" Thy affectionate Uncle 

" PhiHp Eliot." 
To which John Eliot replies — 

Bexhields y^ 17th II mo. 1757 
" Dear Uncle 

" With concern I ob.serve thy uneasiness at my being here. 1 
" should not have absented myself so long from home and Business on 
"any other account than that I informed thee of by my letter of 
" yesterdav which I hope my Sister has already delivered to thee. 

" That alone was the motive, and no fondness for pleasure which 
" induced me to seek retirement in a sober family such as this is. 
" Therefore I intreat thee and my Grandfather to bear with me this 
" once, hoping it will please God so to establish my goings as to give 
" neither of you any cause of uneasiness for the future, which I assure 
" thee I cannot do without suffering as much myself. If my Grandfather 
" would be so kind as to make what Returns are due on the Policies I 
" have signed till I come to London (which I hope I may soon be 
" enabled to do) I should esteem it a great favour. I much desire thy 
"advice in my present situation and with duty to Grandfother, Dear 
" Uncle, Thy loving and affectionate Nephew 

John Eliot Jun." 

On the 17th Nov. the Uncle writes again. "Thy sister this evening 
"came to my house and delivered thy welcome L^ of the i6th Inst the 
" contents of which has greatly refreshed my spiritt on thy account, 
" with strong crys to the Lord that thou mayst be preserved against that 
" Old Enemy who will raise up his Batterys to betray thee if 
" possible." .... 

" Study silence and not impart thy Thoughts to every Inquisitive 
" Person who wants the knowledge of thy state and condition, for as its 


" out of the power of man to administer help, so its upon the Lord only 
" we must wait both for strength and nourishment, and when he appears 
" comfort is administered to that soul who longs for his Presence." . . 

" I shall endeavour often to be with thy dear sister and for thy 
" comfort can inform thee that she has already tasted of that Fiery 
" Baptism and the hand of the Lord seems mightily to be at work upon 
" her heart bringing her into subjection to his will." 

He closes his letter thus : " I remain in that unchangeable Love that 
" neither Life nor Death can separate, being Very Truly Thy affectionate 
" Uncle Philip Eliot." 

In a Postscript he sends his " kind respects to W"" Joyce and 
" y<= Famerly .... There is severall ships lost of which believe 
" some thou has wrote, however lett not this world trouble thee since 
" thou hast found the Pearl of great price, w'' sweettens every bitter 
" cupp, but endeavour to be faithfuU. Lett God call at thy hands what 
" best pleases him & then thou'l witness true Peace and an assurance of 
" Happiness for Ever More — Adieu — P.E." 

John Eliot replies on the 19"'- "Thy kind letter of the I7"> affords 
" great comfort to my drooping spirits. I say drooping, for the Foresight 
" of the Trials & Exercises I had to go through brought me very low at 
" first, but now thanks be to God I have recovered a little strength. The 
" Mountains appear already less, and I have reason to hope that by a 
" faithful perseverance in what I apprehend to be my Duty, they will be 
" entirely removed." 

(From another letter to his Uncle How it would appear that he was 
really seriously ill for a time with distress of mind,) 

" I intend to practice thy advice of not being too communicative of my 
' Condition to others w'' indeed I ever was unwilling to do, not caring to 
' make an Eclat. Insomuch that I have been rather blameable for my 
' Backwardness to acquaint thee thereof." 

. . . " Dear Uncle, favour me with thy repeated advice & let me 
' reap some of the fruits of thy long Experience in this great work of 

true Repentance. My Sister's convincement I was no stranger to. I 

hope we shall be each other's joy and strength in the Lord, giving God 

the glory, who works in us both to will and to do of his own good 

pleasure." He then gives directions as to his business during his 


29"' Nov. from P. E. to J. E. " Go on my dear child, through all 
" opposition never doubting but he who has begun that great work in thy 
" heart will in his own time perfect it to his own Praise. . . . The 
" more I think of thee and of thy dear Sister the more I have cause to 
" bless God on your behalf in that he has had compassion on two 
" bereaved of their parents & has regarded the Humble Petition of thy 
" Dving Father, whose earnest breathings to y'^ Lord was on thy account. 
" Oh that you both may be valiant in the Lord's work. . . . " The 
latter part of this letter gives an insight into the great importance 
attached by " Friends " to their testimony against the wearing of mourn- 
ing. " Last sixth day my Father had news from Lurgan in Ireland of 
" the death of my Aunt Turner, and yesterday my sister Lambert came 
" to Bella's house & informed her she was to meet her other Aunts at 
'■ y: mercers in order to buy morning (mourning). Ab' ^ an hour after 
" they sent to Bella, I suppose they expecf^ she would come and consult 
" with them what to buy and appear in as morning. I therefore 
" waitd upon her w*" intention if necessary to caution her from goeing 
" back into the Fashions &. Customs of this World, as her feet was 
" happyly redeem<* from that beggarly Spott, so to labour not to walk 
" therein any more. I soon perceived she was better rooted than (I) 
"expected and therefore there was noe need of my Caution." 

After a few days the Uncle again gets fidgetty about his nephew's 
continued absence and writes to him on the 28''' 

" I am uneasy at thy stay and more particularly on account of thy dear 
" Sister, whose absence from her, in her present situation can no ways 
" be agreeable, and as to thy stay in the Country upon account of 
" strength, that Difficulty will appear the same come when thou wilt. It's 
"the Enemy's work to raise that mountain & that will always (be) 
" present to thy view, therefore let me beseech thee to act like a man & 
" bear thy cross faithfully in thy new habitation, for we are not called to 
" suffer in Dens or Caves but to own Christ publicly to the world." . . 

On the 30''^ J. E. writes announcing his intention of returning home 
and it is arranged that his Uncle and Sister shall meet him at the 
Dolphin at " Rumford " to dinner on his way back. What a happy 
meeting that must have been of three hearts, long closely united in 
family love and now indeed one in " that unchangeable love which 
" neither life nor death can separate." 


John Eliot, however, acknowledges that his mind was "a little 
"anxious on }"= road but easier & more settled on ye encouraging 
" Discourse of Uncle Eliot." For on the next day he had to begin his 
profession of Quaker ways, the outward and visible sign of which was 
appearing at Meeting in a plain Hat. " Prayed to the Lord for strength 
" and support in this trial, which I felt some assurance of. And next 
" day I again entreated y'= Lord and I had strength to go to Meeting." 

Holy and humble man of heart ! He was wholly anxious to take up 
the Cross of his Divine Master and it was not his fault that together 
with this easy yoke and light burden he took on his shoulders " heavy 
" burdens and grievous to be borne," bound by men. We can but 
reverence his faithfulness and we may well ask ourselves whether it is 
not possible that in the present day we are in danger of erring by taking 
too little pains to let our " testimony " be seen in small things as well as 
in great. 

Although J. E. was sure of sympathy and help from his Uncle and 
Sister in his new departure, it was far otherwise with his Grandfather 
and Aunts. The former was nominally a Quaker, but we have seen 
that his views were by no means in conformity with the straiter sect of 
that religion and indeed I fear that his heart was more set upon riches 
and position than was consistent with his true happiness. Aunt 
Lambert had, as we have seen, smothered her early convictions and does 
not seem to have got much recompence, and the three Aunts of the 
second family had little in common with the more serious Friends. So 
J.E's letter to his "Honoured Grandfather" is very careful and brief: 
a part of it runs as follows : 

"I can assure thee Grandfather that unless my present and everlasting 
" peace had been so nearly concerned, and I may say dependent on my 
" Obedience to this discovery of Duty, I had never submitted my will 
" to become a fool among men and be the jest of those who before 
'■ thought well of me : especially at a time when I had expectations of 
" making a figure in Life in an eminent & Honourable Branch of 
" Business. Yet even this, with the Friendship of so many Gentlemen 
" of Fortune I am willing to give up, if I can't enjoy it without betraying 
" the cause of Truth." 

He wrote also to his Uncle R. How, while to his Cousin R. How — 
the companion of his late hours in the early part of the year, he sent a 


long and earnest letter which was doubtless not without due effect on the 
recipient, and appears to have been of no small help to at least one 
other person to whom R. How showed it. So we see that John Eliot's 
profession was by no means limited to the shape of his hat — he 
endeavoured to share with others the peace of mind which he had found 
in submission to his Master's will as he understood it. 

We have also a long correspondence with his friend "W" Joyce, to 
whom he confided his difficulties as to the path of duty in relation to his 
business, his anxious heart fearing lest he should become too much 
taken up with such matters if he continued involved in mercantile 
affairs. These letters contain pleasant side lights on mutual acts of 
courtesy. John Eliot acknowledges his friend's hospitality by the sub- 
stantial present of "a box of China" (doubtless the real article — I 
wonder v^'hether the Joyce family still preserves it) and Friend Joyce 
reciprocates by sending a basket of apples. 



We should not be giving a faithful account of the character of John 
Eliot if we omitted to recognise fully the extent to which, throughout his 
Hfe, he appears to have been troubled with scruples of conscience, the 
nature of which has been indicated in speaking of the Quakerism of 
those days. Probably few men have suflFered more from this cause than 
he did. For, having once definitely made up his mind to adopt to the 
full that form of doctrine which to his mind represented practical 
Christianity, he consistently endeavoured to follow the dictates of his 
conscience, without stopping to enquire whether that conscience was in 
a healthy or a morbid condition. His grandson, Robert Howard, related 
a typical instance of the latter in a case of which I have found no record 
in J. E's papers. For some reason unknown, he was at one time 
possessed with a scruple that it was his duty to weai^ a beard. Now, 
although this might attract no special notice in the present day, it would, 
in the last century, have been so peculiar as to have been hardly 
consistent with a character for sanity. We can well understand there- 
fore through what depths of anxiety his sensitive nature must have 
passed while this weight was on his mind. Happily he had the wisdom 
to consult some experienced and godly Minister of his Society, who 
referred him to that excellent rule for holy living " The kingdom of God 
■' is not meat and drink ; but Righteousness and Peace and Joy in the 
" Holy"' (Rom. xiv, 17) He recognised the apphcation to his 
own case and the whole cloud passed away at once. 


The next instance I take from a memorandum in French which I find 
among his papers. At some time after his marriage, when his sister 
Mariabella had her own estabhshment at Pickhurst, in Kent, she was in 
want of a coachman. John EHot was asked to call on a strange gentle- 
man to ask the character of a man who applied for the place. He got 
through his business satisfactorily, but he was much shocked that the 
gentleman, on whom he called, used profane oaths frequently in the 
course of his conversation — a habit only too common in those days with 
those who ought to have known better. This fact lay heavily on his mind 
and it seemed to him that it was his duty to call again and give a solemn 
warning of the wickedness of such a practice ; but, as the offender was 
a total stranger and, moreover, evidently a proud man, he shrank greatly 
from such an errand. He waited some days to see whether the impres- 
sion would pass away from his mind, but as it seemed still laid upon 
him, he, at last, plucked up courage to call. But, when he did so, he 
found that the stranger was not at home, whereupon he felt himself 
" discharged." 

I cannot help regarding this case as fairly showing the inherent 
unsatisfactoriness of these " concerns," as they were called. The object 
aimed at was to get rid of the burden on the suflFerer's own mind, not 
really to benefit the other party, otherwise he would, clearly, have 
persevered until he had warned him. No doubt many heroic actions 
have been performed, and much substantial good effected, from such a 
stimulus, but it was essentially unhealthy ; and though a message 
delivered in such a spirit might possibly have had some effect, how much 
more would it have if the recipient saw that the moving principle was 
sympathy and the real desire to save a soul from death. 

Another instance was in a much more serious matter. It appears that 
the elder John Eliot had secured what, I beheve, is called a " Beneficial 
Lease " of an estate at Farleigh, in Surrey, from Merton College, Oxford. 
I understand the nature of these leases to be that, in consideration of a 
large sum paid down, the lessors agree to charge much less than the full 
annual rent during a certain number of lives, but on the death of each 
successive tenant the lease has to be renewed. It is evident, therefore, 
that when John Ehot, the younger, came into the property he would be 


sacrificing some serious portion of his patrimony if he failed to renew 
this lease. The grounds on which he felt a difficulty are sufficiently set 
forth in the following letter. 

" Friend Barton 

" Almost ever since I have been in possession of the estate w*^'' I 
" have in the College Lands at Farleigh, I have been in mind 
" concerning the Tenure. For in the first place I stand engaged in the 
" place of my late Grandfather to pay all taxes & rates, in which is 
" included the Churchrate so-called, whereto I have an objection in point 
" of conscience. For with that Ministry & Worship which is not of 
" Christ's Establishment, that owes not its being to his Spirit and Power, 
" but to something else which is from beneath, as man's parts & learning, 
" I am instructed not to touch or handle, not so much as to pay towards 
" the support of those Places of Assembly, which is not the only thing 
" neither, for which that rate is collected, but frequently (if I mistake 
" not) the charge of the Bread & Wine, &:c. is defrayed out of it. In the 
" next places I cannot be one w* those Foundations (I mean the 
" Colleges) to qualify persons to be Ministers of Christ and of his 
" Gospel. For t'is his Spirit that qualifies for that weighty work and not 
" all the Arts & Sciences in the world. So that 'tis of him all must 
" learn, if they would be Christians indeed — who himself said, ' Take 
" my yoke upon you and learn of me, I am meek and lowly in Heart.' 
" This is the right school & the right Teacher. And therefore seeing 
"these Foundations are not built upon the only Foundation & Rock of 
" Ages, Christ Jesus his Spirit and Power, it must be left with the 
" Almighty to remove (as he doubtless will) every false rest & depend- 
" ence w"^'' men are making of to themselves. 

" And for these reasons, which are simply offered as reasons & not 
" w''' a view to offend, do I choose to be disincumbered from this Affair 
" and am willing to treat with the College for their buying the of 
" me, if they think fit, if not, I shall endeavour to dispose of them to 
" some other Person." 

" Written 21^' 12 mo., 1765, at Uxbridge, and sent from thence by my 
servant Joshua." 

I am unable to give a copy of the answer which may have been 
returned to this letter, but the correspondence evidently continued in the 



same strain, for, under date of May l6, 1768, I find the following from, 
the then Bursar of the College, the Rev. Joseph Kilner — being a sort of 
postscript to a letter on business matters. 

" The necessity of grace from above, I hope we all allow, though 
" perhaps wc are not all alike persuaded as to the manner in which it is 
" ordinarily communicated. But Light is Light, howsoever imparted, 
" whether mediately or immediately, and to be had of the only Author 
" and Giver of it in the ways of his appointment, and in the measure and 
" manner that he sees fittest. To seek and to pursue it, is at least one 
" way to have it, and to use it in the means of it, to have it more 
" abundantly. Instruction in the way of Righteousness is surely a visible 
" means of promoting it, and such a one as with continual prayer super- 
" added to it, may, it is to be hoped, bring down, instead of exclude, 
"invisible Assistance. The endowment of this College was for this 
" purpose and the Qualifications required of us by our Founder, are, that 
" we should be humble, modest and peaceable, and this in order to our 
" growing in grace and becoming more and more teachable. It is not, I 
" beheve, in the nature and condition of man that all should think ahke 
" or be of one Assembly. But whatever our persuasion or wherever we 
" assemble, by this shall all men know that we are true disciples and 
" allowed as such, if we love one another, and that with the universality 
" that Christ loved, even those that are without or that differ from us, even 
" all that are our Fellow Creatures." 

I think that it was in this year, 1768, that the lease was finally 

But poor John Eliot's conscience was still troubled. He had scruples 
about his scruples, and for many years appears to have been tormented 
with the idea that he had injured his children by sacrificing the property. 
Fifteen years later he got his two children to sign a deed whereby they 
" freely exonerate and discharge the estate of our Father, John Eliot, now 
" surviving from any claim or claims hereafter at any time to be made, &c., 
" &c., &c." Even this did not appear to settle the affiiir to his satisfaction, 
for, thirteen years later, his daughter being then married to Luke Howard, 
he submitted a case to Counsel, from which I fear he obtained little 
comfort. However it is evident that nothing further could be done, and 
we may hope that his grandsons did not embitter his last years by 


reproaching him or threatening to claim damages, which would have come 
out of their own inheritance ! 

But we cannot help seeing how such a state of mind must have 
hampered a Christian man in all works secular and spiritual. Truly we 
need to pray for the spirit of " Power and Love and of a Sound Mind," 
that we may neither trample on the dictates of a healthy conscience nor 
fall into such terrible bondage to morbid scruples. 

The mention of " Church rates, so-called " in the above letter to Merton 
College leads us on naturally to speak of the chronic warfare waged by 
John Eliot, and those who shared his views, against all contributions to 
the Established Church, both in the form of Church rates and tithes. 
In the Rev. E. W. Watson's History of the Parish of Ashmore, page 20, 
&.C., will be found a long account of John Eliot's troubles over tithes, 
which ended in his being actually thrown into prison at the Poultry 
Compter, though he was released after a few hours at the instance of the 
plaintiff's solicitor. A careful study of this narrative will show how 
unsparingly the good man raised difficulties for himself, some of which 
even the " Meeting for Sufferings " (the Body appointed by the Quakers 
to deal with such questions) overruled as quite superfluous. 

Similar difficulties arose on a smaller scale at his London house. In 
1759, his Uncle Phihp writes to him while away in Cornwall "All is well 
" at Barth'^ Close saving that y'= Collectors of y<^ T}'ths yesterday took all 
" your Pewter Plates & dishes away so that youl become a Custom"' to 
"John Townsend" for a new sett." 

The following letter of remonstrance, addressed to the Tithe Collector, 
appears to refer to a second seizure of his pewter plates in the same year, 
for it is dated 24''', 1 1 month, several months later. 

"John Lyne 

" I desire thee to consider what thou hast been doing this morn- 
" ing, thou hast been rifleing my house and hast taken away the goods of 
" one who never did thee an injury but on the contrary is ready to do 
" thee and any man any good service. Perhaps thou wilt say thou wast 
" obliged to act as thou didst but why must thou serve such a Master, 
" whose business it may one day be a trouble to thee to have done, for I 

* John Townsend was a Quaker, carrying on a business in Spitalfields which remained in the hands of 
the Townsend and Compton families until 1855. 


" will boldh' assert thai? he is not intitled as a Minister of the Gospel to 
" the reccivcing of Tithes. It appears to me also that thou hast falsified 
" thy word given to the Lord Mayor and taken much more pewter than 
"will answer thy demand. Prithee consider whether this be acting 
"agreeable to the charge given thee to make the suffering as easy as 
" possible, for whatever money thou brings back I can't receive but 
" supposing I could, new pewter is not to be bought with the price of 
" old. This is wrote not in illwill but with a desire for thy good. 

" By thy friend J. E." 

John Eliot kept his accounts quite as carefully and almost as neatly as 
his Grandfather and accordingly we have in his private Ledger a special 
page of " Account of Plate," in which we find the following suggestive 
entries : — 

1765. 3 mo. 12. By Profit and Loss for silver plate taken by distress, 
value ^179. 

1769. 3 mo. 31. By Profit & Loss for some spoons taken for a Steep : 
House* rate about 11* mo. last, ^l 10 o. 

1770. 3 mo. 31. By Profit & Loss for a milk pot taken by distress for 
a Steep : Rate. £1 6 9. 

1772. 6 mo. 2. By Profit & Loss for some silver spoons distrained at 
Hayes for Steep : Rates. £2 o o. 

1773. 12 mo. 20. By Profit & Loss for a milk pot & 5 Tea spoons 
taken by warrant, ^i 10 o. 

1778. 12 mo. 31. By Profit & Loss. Taken by distress warrants, 
value £6 2 8. 

do. ^3 3 o. 

do. Spoons, value £1 16 o. 

rtl " Church " for a building — so called it a " Steeple 

1779. 12 mo. 31. By do. 


1780. 12 mo. 30. By do. 


* The Quakers had an objection to the u 

se of the 


This method of paying Church rates became so well recognised that 
in many cases it degenerated into a solemn force played out between the 
Church rate Collector and the Quaker. It was perfectly well known 
when the former would call, and the plate basket was left out for his 
convenience. The family were not to be blamed if they took care that it 
happened to contain such spoons as could be best spared. In my child- 
hood it used to be supposed that any bent spoons were exchanged with 
an old Quaker Aunt next door for the purpose. Some less scrupulous 
Quakers did not hesitate, I am told, to buy back their own plate. I know 
of one instance in which the neighbourly old Collector happened to come 
in and find the servant's wages all set out in neat piles of coin, whereupon 
he remarked that it would be much the simplest plan to help himself 
from these ; which he accordingly did, thereby quite unintentionally levy- 
ing an illegal distress, as no money may be distrained on unless it is 
contained in sealed bags ! 

The following memoranda, left by John Eliot, also come in appro- 
priately here. 

The first is headed " Memorial of a remarkable Deliverance from the 
" Lord to me out of a great Streight and Trial." It is far too long to give 
in full so I must condense it as much as possible. " On the 7''' of the 
" 4"' mo., 1768, I was chosen by the Vestry of our Parish unto the Office 
" of Sidesman, the duty of which is to assist those called the Church- 
" wardens, and in our Parish particularly was, as I was informed, to 
" collect the Priests wages from house to house." He naturally raised 
objections but they would not let him off unless he paid a fine, and, while 
he was considering what course he should adopt, he received a Citation 
to appear before the Surrogate to be sworn in, " which struck a Damp on 
" me, it carrving such a menacing Air, and as I knew before and had a 
" sense of the murtherous disposition of those called the Clergy and their 
" Courts." He therefore consulted various Friends Avho appear to have 
been of the opinion that he might properly accept the office, making an 
affirmation in place of the oath, and laying down the condition that he 
should do only what was consistent with his religious principles. " But 
" still with me there seemed a Doubt about the Thing, not seeing clearly 
" how Friends could take upon them the name of Churchwarden, although 


"they did only the Civil part, as the care of the Poor, which part I 
"thought I could be very willing to take upon me, but then how to 
" separate the Civil from the Ecclesiastical duty seemed also attended 
" with much Difficulty." He therefore consuhed a Proctor, who turned 
to his law-books and the Articles of Visitation, and explained to him that 
it was customary to omit that part of the Churchwarden's oath which 
bound them to make presentments of notorious drunkards, &c. "which 
" the Proctor said was quite right because it raised strife in Parishes. 
" Thus they can dispense with peoples remaining in such wickedness tho' 
" by their laws they ought to take notice of and reprove them, whilst a 
" poor man may be imprisoned to Death for refusing to pay some of 
" them Tythe if prosecuted in their Court. Which shows their care is 
" more for themselves or their Bellies than the welfare of souls either 
" their own or other peoples. Unwilling however to be singular in 
" making a scruple where my brethren see none and thinking it but right 
" to take part with my neighbours in the Business of the Parish," he 
decided to pay his fine in lieu of serving, and had a \' estry called for that 
purpose. " But oh the uneasiness I was in afterwards and the Doubts 
" and Uncertainties that attended me. This was on 2°^ day evening & 
" the Vestry was to meet the 4"' day following. The 3''^ day morning I 
" went to Meeting & was in much disquiet of mind, but when I looked 
" towards a standing against the thing I seemed refreshed. So I thought 
" I must do so and go out of the Meeting to put by the Beadle from 
" giving notice, but reflecting again, I thought it might be as well to let 
" the Vestry meet, if it was but to acquaint them with my scruples if 
" peradventure they would still excuse me & have another in my place. 
" But Xo fine I was no longer free, and it was a trial to have to tell the 
" Vestry so, after I had called it on purpose to fine. Nevertheless Peace 
"seemed to be on that side." I understand that the difficulty in his 
mind was that, if he paid the customary fine for not serving, he would 
thereby be committing himself to the principle of the lawfulness of the 
office. Thus he was tossed backwards and forwards, from scruple to 
scruple, rejecting the advice of older Friends who saw nothing unlawful 
in the usual way of getting out of the difficulty, until at last — to make a 
long story short — a kind neighbour, one John Planner, came forward and 
unexpectedly offered to stand in his stead. 


The second of these Memoranda is as follows ; — 

"About y^ middle of 1 1 mo., 1768, I with my sister & two other 
friends living in our Parish were summoned before Alderman Kite, 
then Mayor of London to answer a complaint of John Mason C. Warden 
for refusing to pay that called the Church Rate. We attended accord- 
ingly & after waiting a long while for the Warden were admitted before 
the Mayor who treated us very courteously & heard what we had to 
say — then gave charge to the Warden to take his demand in the most 
easy manner he could. Notwithstanding which, when he came to make 
distress, what with the charges which were enhanced by our being first 
summoned by a wrong Warrant, and the management of the Broker, 
our Suffering was made very great. And when I complained of it to 
the Warden and asked for an account of the weight of the pewter could 
get none, only was told he had measured it. It was hard upon some 
of our neighbours who were low in circumstances, yet I hope the Lord 
will make it up. The Warden & Constable took the pewter & other 
goods to themselves at the Broker's appraisement, knowing it was a 
good bargain. And the Mayor's Clerk though he professed he would 
bring us in no charge for the fresh summons, brought in a charge of 
One pound nineteen shillings although we were all put into one 
Warrant. The person who took the pewter at the Broker's low 
appraisement was one Bramhall, who keeps an alehouse in Bartholomew 
Close, hard by where I live. At his house some of our neighbours of 
the Parish hold a club — one of whom, John Planner, told me he had 
seen my plates there and eaten off them, for being marked with the 
letters J. M. E. it's pretty plain whose they were." 




There does not seem much of interest to detain us in the year 1758 
Unexpected difficulties cropped up about the purchase of Treworgy, 
which delayed the completion of the transaction through the whole of 
the year. The wife of the Vendor, who had a right of Dower in the 
estate, proved recalcitrant and declined to join in the sale, further com- 
plicating matters by going out of her mind after she had promised to give 
way but before the necessary papers were signed. A sister also, whose 
consent appeared to be needed, threatened to give trouble " not being 
well, or as he (the Vendor) says Histericall." Truly a difficult family to 
deal with. At last, however, after voluminous correspondence, which 
J. E. conducted with good sense, firmness and no small patience and 
courtesy, all was set right. 

On the I3"> April, at the end of a letter to his Agent about this subject, 
J. E. says "The night before last y'= new Bridge erected pro tempore 
" whilst London Bridge was repairing was set fire to & burnt — whereby 
" y"^ communication betwixt y^ City & Borough will be stopt for 3 weeks, 
" in w":'' time y« Contractors have engaged to make y^ old Bridge passable. 
" The Perpetrators of this wicked Action are not yet discovered, but 
" supposed to be some Watermen." 

In the course of the spring the need for a country house for " Bella " 
was recognised, and various places were looked at. Thus on April 27"' 
" This morning with my Sister in y-' stage coach to Tottenham to look 
" on some lodgings .... but not to our mind, being indifferently 


" furnished and at a high rent. My sister could not get a place back in 
" the stage & was obliged to stay all night at Friend Bell's. I walked to 
" Town I hour 25 minutes." 

Finally a house with a garden was taken in the Richmond Road, 
Putney, and apparently furnished from Bartholomew Close, the "house- 
hold goods" being sent up by water. The planting and care of the 
garden were evidently subjects of great interest to the Inmates and to 
the kind and crotchetty " Uncle Eliot." Somewhere in the neighbour- 
hood lived a widow lady, Mary Weston, with her daughter Polly, then 
about 15 vears old. John Eliot had a great admiration for the mother, 
of whose character we may have much to say later on, and Polly herself 
will re-appear in our story in course of time. 

In September J.E. made a journey to Worcestershire, as we learn from 
a characteristic letter from his Uncle who had been staying with his 
" dear niece " during her Brother's absence. In the course of this 
letter he remarks " we read both thy letters tho' I am at a loss to under- 
" stand what thou means in saying 'Sampson Lloyd & his wife,' pray 
"where does that Friend live, or don't thou mean Harford Lloyd & his 
" wife as I never heard of any other Lloyds of that name but at Birming- 
" ham and those two I know are single. If thou see Harford Lloyd & wife 
" please give my kind respects to them both ; she was the sister to a 
" young woman whom thy Father courted as also to one who I would 
"gladly have married, her maiden name was Andrews, whose family I 
" greatly valued and believe shall continue to do so till my dyeing days." 
This little glimpse into the early disappointment which left him a hfe-long 
bachelor is very interesting, but his judgments about the existence of a 
married Sampson Lloyd were, to say the least, hasty. Sampson Lloyd 
was a very substantial reality, as D' Johnson could testify, for it is 
related that the two got into such deep discussion about Quakerism that 
the Lexicographer flung down Barclay's Apolog}' on the floor and 
declined to continue the conversation ; repenting afterwards, however, of 
his ill-temper — the next day he called on Sampson Lloyd at his Bank 
and, holding out his hand, said : " Lloyd, I am the better logician, but 
you are the better Christian." 

Sampson Lloyd was, as a matter of fact, twice married, and the wife 
whose existence P. E. doubted, was the second. It was he who built 
" The Farm," at Sparkbrook, that hospitable mansion where so many of 


his descendants have passed happy days, and which is still inhabited by 
his family. If Phihp Eliot could have peeped some 66 years into 
futurity, he might have seen a grandson of John Eliot leaving Bartholo- 
mew Close, to bring a great-_grand-daughter of Sampson Lloyd as his 
bride to Tottenham ; there to live honoured and beloved as a wife, a 
mother, a grandmother, and a great-grandmother, handing down the name 
of Eliot as a Christian name after it had died out as a surname. It may 
be satisfactory to know that some months later P.E. was clearly 
convinced of. the identity of Sampson Lloyd and his wife by their 
paying him a visit in London. 


In J.B's Journal of 4''' Dec. 1758, occurred the following entry : 
" My Uncle & Aunts Eliot supped with me. On fit mention d'une 
"certaine fille nommee H. que Ton me souhaitait d'aller voir" and the 
next day " to Uncle Eliot's and to David Barclay's in Cheapside, ou je 
' fus dans la compagnie de la jeune fille." On the 3'''' June, 1759, "Je 
' communiquai a ma Soeur mon desir d'aller voir la fille a Bristol, ce 
' qu'elle ne desapprouva point. J'ai ete confirme dans cette resolution, 
' voyant que mes parens me sont pour la plupart etranges. Le deplaisir 
' de mon Grandpere m'ayant occasionne beaucoup de Tristesse." 

These slight indications open up the next chapter in John Eliot's 
history. Shall we call it an affair of the heart ? or was it only of the 
judgment ? At any rate it was a matter of serious reality this time. 
Judy Boddington — if ever she had been a candidate for his affections — 
was now quite forgotten, and Betsey Johnson, who had I think been 
taken into serious consideration, had become a firm friend, and nothing 

" La fille " in question appears to have been a Miss Harford, of 
Bristol. I have no further information as to the branch of that well 
known family from which she sprang, except that her Mother, Mary 
Harford, was at that time a widow, that her own name was Betsey, that 
she had a married brother James, and that the connection appears to 
have been a most suitable one, and to have had the approval of the Uncle 


Philip Eliot, and apparently, also of the formidable Aunts. The history 
of the affair as far as we can trace it by the letters, forms an interesting 
study, and led to serious consequences, though not what was expected 
by any of the parties concerned in it. 

I wish I could find as regular journals of this period as there are in 
1757, but they are entered in a scrappy way in various memorandum 
books, and apparently not kept up regularly when J. E. journeyed about. 
Sometimes they break off in a most aggravating way. In May, the 
Uncle and Nephew started off on a journey to Bristol, doubtless to "voir 
la fille" together. There are full details till they get to Bath ; then, 
just when we want to hear some gossip about Bristol and its fair 
inhabitant, the pages are blank. They left their horses for 9 nights at 
the White Hart, at Bristol, so it is evident they made some stay. The 
result of the inspection seems to have been quite satisfactory, to the 
Uncle, at any rate. 

It appears, by two letters written to her Brother by Mariabella, 
that their address was at the house of " Peregrine Bowen, Merchant, 
Bristol." These letters are so characteristically unselfish (considering 
what a change would be made in her life if the object of the journey 
were accompHshed) that I must give some extracts. 

"Putney 12/5 mo. 1759 

" Dear Brother, 

Thy letter from Reading which I Received yesterday gave me 
" double pleasure being a proof of thy kindness and bringing me the 
" welcome news of your health and safety. My Uncle's threatenings I 
" receive with joy and shall impatiently wait to see them accompHshed. 
" The garden & country and weather are pleasant. I hope these last are 
" so with you. Sam : Boddington was not returned from Crayford when 
" I left London, but I have some expectation of a visit here from Betsey 
"Johnson — should that fail the Box in the Closet will keep me company 
" long enough and I hope will engage me so much that I shall scarcely 
" get rid of the superfluities with which it abounds before your return. 
" Yesterdays post brought me no letter neither has any Bills called for 
" acceptance, shou'd there any during my absence I have left directions 
' in Writing with the maids that they may not mistake. 


" If this letter seems to want some apology, as well as my last from 
" its emptyness, remember tis from travellers we expect news and amuse- 
" ment , the3% every day changing the scene and there Company, cannot 
" fail of subjects plentiously to fill their letters, as on the contrary those 
'■ that stay at home meet with few occurrences, the relation of which 
" cou'd any ways entertain them who are already so much better 
" engaged." 

" and now I'll take my leave first desiring thoul't remember me in the 
"best manner to my Uncle, & believe me to be most sincerely thy 
" Loving & affect* Sister 

Mariabella Eliot." 
" Putney, 15th 5 mo. 1759 
" Dear Brother, 

. . . . please return my thanks (to my uncle) both for his 
" letter and wishes which I much desire may be accomphshed. I am 
" very glad to hear your journey proves so pleasant and satisfactory, may 
" this satisfaction continue and greatly increase, especially during your 
" stay at Bristoll, and as for that great Loss my Uncle speaks of," (I 
suppose that the Uncle had foretold the loss of J.E's heart) " I heartily 
" wish it may attend this journey provided thou mayst at the same time 
" gain one in exchange and equal to thy Loss, but willt thou suffer me 
" to say — where can such an one be found : they are not very plenty, 
" that I'm sure. I speak sincerely, thou knows't I speak my mind to 
" thee & have told thee already my thoughts on this subject and wou'd 
" more amply now, was I not straitened for time, occasion'd by my being 
" in the Country must send my letter according to the Tide to be put 
" into the post & could not write it sooner having been disappointed in 
" receiving my Uncles and one from Topsham for thee, till this morning, 
" through the customary negligence of Hills people." (It is evident 
from the above that, at that time, there was neither collection nor 
delivery of letters at Putney : they had to be sent in to London appar- 
ently by boat and sent out by the coach.) . ..." I hope nothing 
" I have said above may make thee think I have not a good opinion of 
" Bristoll or doubt its possessing good. Let this suffice to show the 
" sincerity of my wishes for thy happiness when I tell thee that I wish 
" it at least equal if not more than my own." .... 

" Thy truly affectionate 

" Mariabella Eliot." 


In June (see quotation from Journal on page 65) John evidently 
carried out the intention expressed in his journal and took Bella down 
to Bristol with him, for he expended "near 12 guineas" in a journey by 
post chaise to Bristol and back. (When traveUing with his Uncle they 
went on horseback.) 

In July or August the Brother and Sister started otT again Westward, 
either posting or taking their own carriage, and on this journey we have 
more light, for several letters passed between John Eliot and other 
members of his family.* One object of the journey was to pay a 
visit to Treworgy, but another, no less important was to press forward 
the suit with Miss Harford. They took as a companion " Betsey 
Johnson," doubtless the young lady of whom we have heard before. 
The letters tell their own tale of the progress of the little romance. 

Philip Eliot to John and Mariabella EHot. 

London, ye jd 8/mo. 1759. 

" My dear Children 

I hope e'er you have received this you have accomplished your 
" journey much to your satisfaction — and as Treworgy by John's des- 
" cription is surrounded by hills with lofty, towering trees and on one 
" side y^ sea in view and the hurry of London quite ceased, you will 
" have nothing to employ your thoughts about but making Verses,^ and 
" in order thereto, inclosed goes a copy of the long wished for letter 
" w'='' came last 6''' day to my father — w'^'^ has removed his anger, tho' 
" the length of its coming had almost killed me and I really believe this 
" answer has been quickened thro' my means, else why did it not come 
" sooner. However thou sees where the difficulty lyes, and if Love is 
" strong, remember Jacob, how many years he served his father in law 
" Laban for Rachell — the terms is not hard and thou not old. Probably 
" her Mother with the assistance of some good Friend might mitigate &. 
" easie thee of thy pleasant servitude &. make things more tolerable. 
" Who knows w' the Cornish Yearly Meeting may do, and as you are 

A Diary of this journey \\a» liept by Mariabella Eliot, which has come into my hands since these 
pages were in print. Some extracts are given in the Appendix, page 129, &c. 

t The verses were written, but neither he nor they then foresaw the sad event which they were to com- 
memorate. See Appendix, page 127. 


by yourselves and noe old Uncle at hand to overlook, you may depend 
some of that family will be there & probably the very object of all 
Happyness, when the stress (?) of this Letter may be laid open to her 
as occasion offers, made use of, with all y^ assurances consistent with 
truth, the great value thou hast for her, and am sure did thy heart burn 
with a flame equall to mine that she might be my niece thou wouldst 
leave no stone unturned untill thou hadst gained her. The greatest 
cause of all my pain and illness has been on thine & Betsey's account, 
lest anything should prove a prevention to y'' joining your hands & 
hearts together." 

Then follows more good advice as to his proceedings, with news of 
the garden at Putney and the house in Bartholomew Close, and love to 
Betsey Johnson — "so remain with dear love to yourselves 

" Your affectionate Uncle 

PhiHp Eliot." 

(This letter bears the remains of a seal clearly showing the arms and 
crest of the Eliot family — as described hereafter.) 

The enclosed copy of Mrs Harford's letter is as follows : 

" Resp"J Friend 

' I received both thy Favours in course, have considered the 
" contents and am obliged to thee for the regard thou expresses for my 
" Family. 

" As to the Proposalls I am still of the same Sentiments as when thy 
" Grandson was here, which conclude he has acquainted thee wdth, viz'. 
" that I thought my Daughter too young to engage in, or to judge 
" properly in an affair of so much consequence and I should think myself 
" blameable to give consent to any advance without her knowledge, as 
" her approbation is the materiall point. Was she of proper age, should 
" not hesitate to mention it to her, but as the case is otherwise must beg 
" to be excused from taking any steps in the affair. I am with due 
" respects 

" Thy assured Friend 

" Mary Harford." 
Bristol, 31 7 mo. 1759. 


LONDON y^ 9*'' 8/mo. 1759. 
Philip Eliot to John Eliot. 
" My dear John, 

I wrote thee last night and considering the situation of the place 
" thou art in, that news in the Political World won't be disagreeable, I 
" here send thee an acC that an express came yesterday of Prince 
" Ferdinand gaining a compleat victory over Marshall Coutades and 


in y^ field of Battle - 5000 

Drown'' in y^ flight - 3000 

Taken prisoners - 8000 

" Totall - 16000 

"besides 1500 stand of Arms, 150 p"' Iron cannon & morters & 50 
" Brass ditto. 3000 covered waggons besides all the Baggage. There 
" is also advice that Admiral Druell (?) had taken a French Man of War 
" 64 and a Frig' 24 guns with 6 Transports b** to Quebeck & had sunk a 
" man of war of 50 guns. Our Citty was illuminated from one end to 
" the other last night and Jno. Wallis, Doct. Fothergill, Robert Plumstead 
" Besington, Doctor Talwyn & severall others grossly abused by breaking 
" their windows. The Citty Marshall was there but was like to be killed 
" being knocked down and great abuse was shown to y= Constables. 
" There is 8 or 9 secured in the Counter, two of them are persons of 
" Figure — One of which, its said, has offered ^500 for his liberty. I 
" wish an example may be made of them, &c., &c. Stocks has risen 2 
" per cent." 

Really, really ! Uncle Eliot, dost thou consider this quite consistent .■* 
What an example thy evident and most unquakerly interest in the War 
must have set to thy John and Bella. Let us hope that it deeply 
shocked them as it does thy devoted great, great, great nephew who 
regards thy memory with such affection ! 

On the 12''' August John writes a long letter in reply to his Uncle's 
of the 3"^. "The enclosed copy" (the letter from Mrs Harford) "I have 
" thoroughly considered and it appears to me to be the product of deep 
" study, but whether I have reason to hope anything from it is a Doubt 
" with me. Indeed thou wilt say that if I have no direct encouragement. 


" at least there is no positive prohibition against my proceeding — but 
" then may not the Widow's refusal to make her daughter acquainted 
" with the matter be a plausible cover for her dislike of the Offer which 
" she might not perhaps care to signify more plainly. One thing how- 
" ever I am glad of which is, that mv Grandfather's displeasure is 
" removed. Now if thou askest what I intend to do further in the 
" Affair, I answer that since the Widow lays me under no Restriction, I 
" may consider myself at Liberty to make known my sentiments to her 
" Daughter, which I perceive is agreeable to thy way of thinking. 
" I come now to what has given me pain to hear, that thy health continues 

" to be bad I was over yesterday at Treworgy to prepare 

" things but we cannot get our goods there till to-morrow they having 
" been detained with the maid on the road." Bella adds an affectionate 
note begging her Uncle to come and join them and John closes with a 
postscript " I also join in intreating thee to come down to see us in the 
" Country." 

I think that there must be some correspondence missing, for it is 
evident that during the next few days our Love affair all went wrong. 
John appears to have communicated a report which proved quite un- 
founded, that Mrs Harford was about to marry again — an idea which 
gave great offence to Grandfather Eliot. I do not know why, for he can 
hardly have objected on principle to second marriages, having himself set 
the example. Perhaps, as the reputed bridegroom was an Underwriter, 
it was simply the old story that "two of a trade seldom agree" or perhaps 
J.S. was guilty of the unpardonable crime of undertaking " Risks" at too 
low a rate of premiums. Although this cloud was dissipated, some other 
cause had given great offence to the elder Ehots and the LIncle Philip 
evidently considered the affair at an end and took the disappointment 
deeply to heart. We must remember that the match was one of his 
own proposing, and I cannot help thinking that he was more in earnest 
about it than his nephew. 

Phihp Eliot to John EHot. LONDON y^ 23"^ 8 mo. 1759. 

" My very dear Nephew 

" With much labour 1 write this (being bolstered up in the bed) 
"but as its a Cause of Ve highest consequence to thy Interest was deter- 
" mined to run all Hazards as to my Self, having offered up already my 


" Life on thy account. I shall not enlarge further on that subject : every 
" day that thy Grandfather calls upon me (he) enquires if (I) have 
" received a Ltre from thee & what further news : for instance I told him 
"y^ report of the Widow H. being shortly to be married with Joseph 
" Scott the Underwriter whose Country House was near Ilford in Essex, 
" he immediately broke out in a fitt of cruel resentment and declared if 
" ever she married him he would never give his consent for thee to 
" marry her Daughter & therefore seeing she has fixed her limited time 
" for her to see the World and will not submitt for her Daughter to be 
" married untill she is 24 years — so also I request thou'I turn thy back 
" upon both her and her Mother & show thyself by thy actions that thou 
" esteemed thy family in another Light than to be treated with contempt 
" by such a woman as the Widow Harford who by a little ellevation had 
" forgott all good manners & breeding. I am very sorry things have gone 
" so far, but I would lett it drop for the present ... in my opinion 
" the match won't do. It will be with difficulty thou reads it & yett I 
" can't be easy unless send it notwithstanding my right hand is much 
" swelled thou'I see my meaning & act with wisdom & then shall be 
" happy. With dear love to all I remain 

Thy affectionate Uncle 

Phihp Eliot." 
John Eliot Sen^ to John Eliot Jun'. 

LONDON 22 Aug. 1759. 
" Dear Children 

Your letter from Liskeard gave me great satisfaction inasmuch as 
" it advised of your safe getting there in health and without any impedi- 
" ment on the road w='' I wish may attend you until your arrival here : 
" Be careful how you perplex yr minds about H . . . d. ¥■■ Uncle E — t 
" has been confined to his bed a week and has been attended by D'. 
" Fothergill & acknowledges to me yt he beheves his illness is owing 
" chiefly to y<= disappointment he & you have met with — he had a pretty 
" good night & hopes he is much better. 

" I hope Bella will endeavour to see all ye principal Towns especially 
" S*. Austle where I drew my first breath, and will keep a Journall of all 
" remarkable objects she meets with and hope before she leaves Cornwall 
" will learn to drink Syder and eat brown bread, both which are very 
" holdsome & conducive to health, but not to be too free with y« Syder — 


" wine and water being more y'' constant drink. We at Croydon through 
" Mercy enjoy heahh. May God preserve you is y<= praj^er of 

¥■■ affect<= G. Father 

Jno. EHot. 
" P.S. — When you are at S'. Austle let it be of a Friday being Marl<et 
" day when y'^ Town will appear most alive & believe to your liking." 

John Eliot Jun^. replies to his Uncle in a long letter. Alluding to the 
regret with which he had heard and communicated the report of Mrs 
Harford's intended marriage, he proceeds — 

" But I could not let this or any former Behaviour deter me wholly 
" from thinking upon the Daughter for whom I have a real regard 
" founded not so much on the agreeableness of her mien & person as on 
" the appearance of Gravity & serious turn of mind so uncommon in one 
" of her years and promising the most happy Advancements in Virtue & 
" Religion." 

But now comes the real tragedy : surely the strangest ending to a 
romance : the rejected lover goes on his way with equanimity while 
his old Uncle breaks his heart over the disappointment and dies. 

John Eliot Sen'' to John Eliot Jun^ Sept. I, 1759. 
" D"' Grandson 

I rec" thy letter from Liskeard &. Treworgy & am now with the 
" utmost concern to acquaint thee the state of thy Uncle. On Wednes- 
" day last the D"' gave great hopes of his recovery, but this night he 
" despairs of it and fears he will not survive the time this may reach thy 
" hands. I think it necessary thou comes to Town with all convenient 
" speed and am with dear love Thy affecf^ G. Father 

Jno. Eliot." 
London, Sept. i, 1759. 

And so the loving faithful heart ceased to beat on the 2nd September. 
One of the last things recorded of him is that a day or two before his 
death when some letters were brought to him he asked " Is there any- 
" thing about my Nephew & Niece, for as for other matters, those of 
" business, I have nothing further to do with them, having finished with 
" the world." 


A few days before his death he had a dream that a man came to arrest 
him for a debt and pushed him into a corner, " Wait " repUed he, " I 
have money to pay you." " Oh " said the man " that is not the thing, 
this debt is not to be paid with Money." When he awoke he recounted 
the dream to his nurse and said that he knew well that the person who 
had appeared to him was Death, and that his time had come. 

A well-known Friend, Samuel Spavold,* came and prayed with him 
and shortly afterwards he was oflFered some food which he declined, 
saying that he " had received Christ," meaning no doubt that he now 
needed nothing further. 

I believe that John Eliot's descendants owe more to the influence of 
this faithful man's character than has ever been recognised. 

* Samuel Spavold, who was evidently a Minister of some distinction in the Society at this time, was 
originally a ship's carpenter, and, I believe, in Government employ. He lived to a great age, and in his 
latter years was married to Phoebe, widow of William Lucas, of Hitchin, .-it which place he died. Her 
maiden name Grey, connected by marriage with the Vickris, H.irford and other Quaker families. 



We can well believe that the Nephew and Niece hurried home from 
Treworgy, and I do not know that they ever afterwards made much 
residence there. Pickhurst and Ashmore occupied their thoughts a few 
years later, and the management of Treworgy was left to agents. 

In tracing out the remainder of our story we shall miss the kindly 
company of the gouty Uncle, and the correspondence becomes sensibly 
more dull when there are no more of his letters to enhven it. Even his 
scoldings were so spirited that one would rather have them than acres of 
the subsequent letters of the family which have been preserved. 

John Eliot appears to have kept copies of every letter that he wrote, 
in a series of books. This was always done with great neatness and 
sometimes in an exquisite copper-plate hand-writing. Occasionally we 
come across letters possibly copied by Mariabella, whose hand-writing 
was not equal to her Brother's, being a bad imitation of the cramped 
but beautiful XVII century hand adopted by her Mother's family. Many 
of these books of letter copies remain, but they offer little of interest 
during the next three years, except when they give a passing glimpse 
into ways of life with which we are no longer familiar. 

Thus the following evidently relate to the prize-money due to a 
seaman who had served on board some Privateer, (I should have thought 
that J.E's scruples would have prevented his mixing himself up with so 
warUke a business.) 

27''' 9 mo. 1759. 

" George Borlase Jun^ I received thine with the power of Attorney 

" from Robert Gilhs and am very ready to serve thee in this affair, but 

" must tell thee with concern that the Managers of the Privateers seem 

" not so ready to pay oif the poor seamen. I attended yesterday as long 



" as my business would permitt & then w^ have left the power for some- 
" body to receive for me but that was not admitted by the Managers so 
" that one may wait a whole day and perhaps to no purpose after all, as I 
" was assured my man had not been called. Thej' are to sit again next 
" week when I hope to meet with better success." 

At last on the 25"^ of 10 mo. 1759 he has succeeded. 
" George Borlase Jun^ 

"In my last" (a letter dated 18'*^ lO mo.) "I mentioned, since 
" I found such a difficulty in doing it myself, to employ the Privateer's 
" Agent to receive Robert Gillis' prize money by Virtue of a power of 
" substitution, this method has succeeded and he has just sent me the 
"following account" (The share was ^36 3 1 1, but various deductions 
and expenses brought it down to ^19 19 0.) " He has also paid me 
" this Ballance which I hold at thy disposal. My trouble in the affair 
" thou hast gratis. It would have pleased me had I been able to have 
" advised the receipt of the money sooner, but shall not dwell on the 
" disagreeable delays." 

The following letter illustrates the admirable care taken by the 
Quakers to avoid scandal occurring in their body through the failure of 
any Member to pay his debts, and the substantial kindness shown when 
the financial difficulty arose from misfortune and not from misconduct. 
"115 mo. 1762. Nich= Burtt, Shopkeeper at Cro3^don. 

" My time having been very much taken up of late various ways 
" is the cause why thou hast not heard from me sooner on the subject 
" of thy own Aftairs. The method of giving up all to thy Creditors and 
" so to be clear"^ by them is what many would advise in the present 
" situation and would be my advice likewise, if that All was sufficient. 
" But as it is not so, I would fain avoid the reproach of its being made 
" publick for thy own and the Truth's sake. And if this can be brought 
" about by the Assistance of one or two friends more, I think to 
" attempt it. For the present, John Towns'^ with me thinks it would be 
" necessary and proper for thee to make an offer of the sale of the 
" House to W"" Grover who has the Mortgage and desire a speedy 
" answer. It will be time enough to set a price when thou findest him 
" disposed to buy. If anything material occurs in the meanwhile, I 
" expect to be informed and also when thou hast W.G's answer. I think 
" to be at the adjourned Quarts Meets at Guildford on 2"^ day." 



The year 1762 was an eventful one in the EHot family. On the 
25''' 5 mo. 1762 I find an indication of important changes in a letter to 
his old friend and agent, John Trehawke, of Liskeard. "The Alteration 
" talked of will probably take place in less than 2 months — which will 
"add to the name of Ehot and lessen that of Weston — lege Mary 
" Weston." 

How we miss the company of the kind old Uncle in tracing out this 
part of the history which was of such importance in John Eliot's life. 
For at last he had made his choice of a companion for life, and it was 
one which, as I believe, Phihp Eliot would have entirely approved. We 
have already made some acquaintance with the widow lady, Mary 
Weston, who lived " upon the Hill, by or in Wandsworth Westwards," 
(as the direction on an old letter informs us) with her young daughter 
Polly. (The Mother's name in her own youth was " Molsy.") As Mary 
Weston, Jun^, was born in August, 1743, she must have been very 
young when she was engaged to John EHot, but perhaps she presented 
that " appearance of Gravity & serious turn of mind, so uncommon in 


" one of her vears and promising the most happy Advancements in 
" Virtue and ReHgion " which we know were calculated to win his sober 

The match was one of true and enduring affection, and one longs to 
have some details of the courtship, but here journals and letters are, 
alas ! silent. Nor have we any portrait unless it be one of the many 
nameless " silhouettes " in black frames which remain to the embarrass- 
ment of descendants. Whatever may have been her personal attractions 
she is supposed by the family to have introduced the " Weston paw',' an 
undesirable feature apt to recur when such an inheritance is least desired. 

In making final choice of a wife, John Eliot (III) followed his own 
judgment rather than that of his Grandfather, who would no doubt have 
wished him to make a more brilliant alliance. For though Mary Weston 
could claim descent from one who was perhaps the greatest Nobleman 
of England in his day,* the family had undergone strange vicissitudes, 
(as I hope to trace out more fully in another volume) and she herself 
was born in the picturesque but homely neighbourhood of " Wapping 
Old Stairs," where her father was carrying on business as a highly 
respectable Quaker tradesman. The said father, Daniel Weston, having 
died in 1755, the widow hved at Wandsworth, evidently in great 
comfort and much respected, and kept open house for those who, like 
herself were engaged in the work of Ministry among the " Friends." 

The following is John Eliot's announcement of his engagement to his 

" Hon'' Grandfather 

" The intent of my coming to Croydon on S''' day was chiefly to 
" have some conversation with thee about the present situation of my 
"affairs. But meeting with a disappointment I concluded on this 
" method of letting thee know that my engagement with M. Weston is 
" now ready to lay before the Meetings.^ 

* I li.ive left this p.issage as written — but see full discussion of the question in Part II, page 79, &c. 

I The practice among the Friends when two of their Members contemplated marriage was for each party 
to announce personally in the meetings for discipline of their respective districts their intention of marriage — 
it corresponded to "publishing the banns" in the Church of Hngland. 


" Thy coldness towards this undertaking has been the Reason of my 
" l<eeping Silence so much of late, but I am not willing to conceal this 
"step from thee, much desiring to have thy concurrence therein. 

" I have great hopes that on a future Acquaintance thou wilt find M. 
" Weston to be a very suitable Wife for 

" Thy affectionate Grandson 

"John Eliot Jun^" 
" I hope to see thee in London on 3'^*' day or to receive a Line 
" then." 

Putney y'= 22""^ 5 mo. 1762 7"^ day." 

We have seen that Mary Weston and her daughter were near neigh- 
bours of John Eliot and his sister when they lived at Putney, and 
allusions in the family letters show that John entertained a very high 
opinion of the mother, who must have been a woman of very unusual 
force of character, and a most active and devoted Minister of the Society 
of Friends. We have the record of several long and adventurous 
journeys which she made on horseback through England, and subse- 
quently through the thinly settled American Colonies to attend their 
assemblies, and to hold meetings for preaching to all who would hear. 
She must have possessed great physical endurance as well as a devoted 
spirit, and the undaunted way in which she met and overcame opposition 
commands our admiration. It is easy to understand that John Eliot, 
whose interests were now bound up in his beloved Society, found much 
to respect and admire in such a champion of its principles. At what 
period the young Quakeress, who is at first only mentioned casually as 
" Mary Weston's daughter," (being in fact still a child) began to assume 
more importance in his eyes, we do not know ; but we cannot be 
surprised that the daughter of such a mother attracted his attention as 
she gradually developed into a pious (and, we may hope, comely) young 
woman. His own religious views were so firmly fixed that he could not 
have been happy with one who did not fully share them, and the event 
proved that he had chosen wisely for his own happiness during a long 
and useful life. The marriage was celebrated according to the simple 
but dignified rites of the Society at their Meeting at " Wandsworth in 
the County of Surry " " on the fourth day of the eighth Month called 
August 1762." The Certificate shows that his Grandfather and Sister 


were present, besides his three Aunts, Frances, Rebecca, and Mary Eliot, 
several of his maternal relatives the Hows, sundry Westons, w^ith other 
connections on either side, and numerous friends who added their 
signatures according to the interesting custom of the Society. 

I have reason to believe that, after the death of Philip Eliot, John 
moved to his Uncle's house in Bucklersbury, but I think he brought his 
young wife to the old house in Bartholomew Close. Some years later 
he built himself a house on the family property in Bartholomew Close, 
which was pulled down within my remembrance. It occupied the 
position where the " Royal General Dispensary " now stands. 

It has been well remarked that in the book of Common Prayer there 
intervenes nothing except the Order for the Visitation of the Sick 
between the Form for the Solemnization of Matrimony and the Order 
for the Burial of the Dead. And thus it happened in the Eliot family. 
The attendance at the wedding of his Grandson was the last public 
appearance of the old Merchant who had seen his two wives and his two 
sons precede him to the grave. But the story is best told in the Grand- 
son's own words. 

" On the 4''' of 8 mo. 1762. My Grandfather John Eliot attended my 
" Marriage at Wandsworth and was at the dinner at Richmond Hill and 
" appeared there very well pleased & chearful. That evening he returned 
"with my 3 Aunts Frances, Rebecca & Mary to Croydon where he 
" stayed all next day being ^^^ day. The day following he went to 
" London & going out as was his custom to the Insurance Offices was 
" seized at Loxham's Shop with a giddiness or Swimming in his Head so 
" that he was ready to fall on the ground, but by the help of a cane got 
" safe to his house in Bartholomew Lane. In the evens he went back to 
" Croydon and nothing more of the disorder appeared till about the 
" 2"^ Hour 7'*^ day morning. Sister, Mother (Mrs. Weston) Wife & 
" Self were by kind invitation to dine with Grandf"' & the Family that 
" day — but he being so bad we asked if he w'' send to put by the 
" Appointment. He said No, not even if he should lye dead in the 
" House at the time — which we could not but take as a mark of the 
" greatest Regard to all. 

" At our coming we were surprised to find Grandfi" in such a condition 
" that we c"^ not enjoy his Compy. However we went up to him & found 
" he laboured under a difficulty of l)reathing. On my wife's going to 


"speak to him he sHpt a B.N. of ^lOO into her Hand telling her she 
" might lay it out in plate or what she pleased : then spoke very 
" affectionately to her, desiring that God would bless us together. . . . 

" Fifth day morning early I had a letter to acquaint me with his 
" decease ab' 9"' hour 4* day night. 

" He was about 77 (or 79) years of age and had been a very healthy, 
" hearty man in his time, remarkable for his fine Person." 

He died a wealthy man even according to our reckoning, and we must 
remember that money represented much more value in 1762 than it does 
at the end of the XIX century. His " Ballance Book " to which we 
have already referred was carefully made up to the end of 1 76 1, and 
shows a result of : 

"Stock or Estate General for Balance ^95059 14 8 ", his money 
being mostly carefully invested in such safe securities as " Bank reduced 
Annuities," " Bank 2/4 per cent. Annuities 1758," " Bank 4 per cent. 
Annuities 1760," "India Bonds" and the like. 

As regards the disposal of his property we may refer to a letter from 
his Grandson to John Trehawke dated 3: 9 mo. 1762. 

" I find by thine thou hadst received the account of my Grandfather's 
"decease. Last 6*'' day 27''' inst. he was interred in our Burial Ground 
" at Groydon, his body being deposited by his own desire betwixt those 
" of his last wife and my Father and attended to y'= grave by divers 
" relations and acquaintances. This event thou must think must 
" occasion the distribution of a considerable Estate in the Family. The 
" house at Falmouth with Gormellick and Landazzard, a little estate 
"called Farleigh near Croydon, with a very considerable pecuniary 
" Legacy and share of the Residuum is what my Grandfather has 
" absolutely given me, in which I must acknowledge he has been beyond 
" Expectation liberal. My Aunts have likewise considerable Legacies, 
" with each of them, the three unmarried, the House at Croydon during 
" their lives, and my Aunt Frances is appointed Joint Exor. with me. 
" Thy name is in the will for /50 which will be at thy disposal." 

On the 5"' of December, 1763, "Aunt Lambert" followed her father 
to the grave, leaving no descendants, and on the 3''*^ April, 1766, Frances 
Eliot died unmarried ; (both were buried at Croydon.) Of the other 
two Aunts, one, Rebecca, married Sir John Bridger, and lived till 1803, 
and the other, Mary, died unmarried in 1794. (She also was buried at 



And now having safely landed John Eliot on the Table-land of middle 
life we find less to interest us in his journals and letters than in the 
more chequered days of his early manhood. His principles, his fortune 
and his matrimonial affiiirs being all settled, he went on his way as a quiet 
Quaker gentleman, much devoted to the building up of the Religious 
Society to which he belonged, and full of kind deeds to those who were 
in need within its borders. Some of his descendants in the fourth 
generation, on looking through a number of letters addressed to him 
during the latter part of the century, remarked that almost all of them 
appeared to refer to gifts which he had sent or was sending. He made 
frequent journeys about England in the interests of the Society and once, 
at least, a few years after his marriage, went as far as Holland to visit the 
Meetings there, a journey of which I hope to give some account in its 
proper place. 

It is not very clear where Mariabella EHot made her home after her 
brother's marriage and before she purchased a country house for 
herself in Kent : probably she had one of the houses in Bartholomew 
Close, but she seems to have spent a good deal of time with 
Mr and Mrs (or Miss) Vickris Dickinson, old friends of the family, who 
had been rather looked to as go-betweens in the unfortunate Harford aflFair. 
They appear to have lived sometimes at Hatspen House, near Bruton, 
Somerset, and at other times at Pickwick Lodge, near Corsham, Wihs. 


This latter name, so familiar in modern ears, at once arouses interest and 
points to the quarter from which Dickens, 70 years later, borrowed the 
name of his hero. (Pickwick is a part of the Village of Corsham.) 

On a letter, dated 21, 4 mo., 1763, from J. E. to his sister at this 
address I have found what may be the impression of the long lost seal 
which John Eliot had had made in 1757, and which his scruples had not 
yet induced him to destroy. The arms and crest are clearly identical 
with those borne by the S'- Germans family of Eliots, affording the 
strongest possible evidence that he claimed descent from the same stock. 

The description is as follows : — 

Arms. — Argent, a fess gules between double cottises wavy azure. 

Crest. — An Elephant's head argent, plain collared gules. (Of course 
there are no supporters.)'"' 

In another letter, dated 18"' 10 mo., 1764, from Mary Eliot to her 
sister-in-law at Hatspen, a new subject of interest arises, as follows : — 

" The Estate in Dorsetshire is still under consideration, several letters 
" having passed about it. 'Tis situated near Shaftesbury. It is most 
" likely, if the terms are agreeable to my husband, we shall take a journey 
" shortly to see it, but cannot fix the time at present. Would it not be 
" agreeable (if it should come to pass that we should go) to return 
" together ? We might conveniently meet at Salisbury. I just hint this 
" to thyself." 

The purchase was in due time completed, and John Eliot became 
possessed of the Manor of Ashmore, which has given so much pleasure 
and so httle profit to his descendants. The parish history of Ashmore 
has been so thoroughly traced out by the Rev. E. W. Watson t that 
nothing further remains to be recorded except a few items of gossip, 
which may be collected from scattered memoranda and letters. 

In the Daily Advertiser, for 8 Sept., 1 764, the following Advertise- 
ment appeared. 

" To be sold. The Manor and Mansion House of Ashmore, 
" situated in the most pleasant part of Dorsetshire, 4 miles from 
" Shaston (Shaftesbury) and 6 from Blandford. And also the 

* On further careful consideration of old family letters I am inclined to think that the seal made for John 
Eliot HI. was a smaller seal. The large seal in this letter evidently used by Philip Eliot, in his lifetime 
— which carries the claim to the Arms a generation further back. 

f See "Ashmore, Co. Dorset. h History of the Parish, by the Rev. E. W. Watson, M.A." Printed by 
John Bellows, Gloucester, 1890. 


" Barton or Farm of Ashmore, containing 800 acres and 300 acres 
" of wood in hand and several small Tenements and Lands in 
" Ashmore. Particulars whereof may be had of Robt Barber Esq. 
"at Ashmore or of Biscoe in the Temple." 

This advertisement raises a curious problem. In the present day the 
distances by road are just half as much again as there given, and I doubt 
whether even Lord Portman's hounds in full cry could go from point to 
point without covering more ground than is stated. Was " Robert 
Barber Esq." guilty of a geographical fiction or has the surface of the 
earth expanded ? 

It appears by the Account books that John Ehot paid ^14,500 for the 
estate. Also, that he proceeded to farm it himself with signal want of 
success, for when he wound up his "Ashmore Farming Account," in 
177 1, (having let the farm) he carried ;^I000 to "Profit & Loss for 
" balance of this account which I deem lost." In addition to this he had 
written off ^349 10 o, in 1770, " For a seizure & sale of Stock p : 
"sequestration for Tythes at suit Charles Barber" — the termination of 
the affair already alluded to, at one stage of which he found himself 
committed to the Poultry Compter. 

The " Mansion House " must have been a very odd building when J. E. 
bought it — as it was undergoing alteration according to an extraordinary 
design (which was never completed) including a sort of Gothic front, 
flanked by two octagon towers, all at quite an oblique angle to the 
original house — a substantial but inconvenient stone building. The 
octagon towers were partly finished, but were soon pulled down and the 
materials used in building a school house and cottages ; the basement of 
one of them still remains in the garden. The house itseli underwent 
considerable alterations and is now the Manor Farm House. 

John Eliot does not seem to have been extravagant in his furnishing 
arrangements, for the "Ashmore furniture account " did not amount to 

It is related that, on the first occasion when he took his wife to visit 
the Estate, their carriage, after safely surmounting Melbury Hill, finally 
stuck fast in descending towards the Ashmore boundary at Washer's Pit, 
and the party had to complete their journey on foot. It will be observed 
from this fact that the present " zig-zag " road was not yet made and that 
the way from Shaftesbury was by the higher Blandford road through 


The state of the roads at Ashmore evidently continued to be very 
bad until the present century, for in 1893 one of the old inhabitants 
(T. Bealing) told me that he remembered that when the Rector, Dr 
Chisholm, paid his annual visit to the Parish, his carriage had to be 
drawn in by a gang of men with ropes, the ruts rendering it dangerous 
to attempt to bring it in by horses. 



In 1765, Mariabella Eliot, who had inherited a considerable fortune 
from her Father, Mother and Uncle, bought a country house for herself, 
called Pickhurst, in the parish of Hayes, in Kent. The new house was 
in the midst of lovely scenery, and the house itself, which has now grown 
into a large red brick mansion, is shown by the old plans to have been a 
comfortable little dweUing with a " parlour " and a " best parlour," each 
having a " Venetian Bay Window " (whatever that may have been) and 
rambling back premises and outbuildings, very suitable for accommodating 
the modest household of a single Quaker lady. This charming place 
still remains in the possession of her family, and at present belongs to 
M. E's great great niece, Ehzabeth Howard. It is probably the only 
Ehot investment in land, outside London, which has much increased in 
value, and does eminent credit to her judgment. The possession of 
Pickhurst afterwards led to an amusing correspondence between John 
Ehot and the Earl of Chatham, who wished to buy some of the land. 
Naboth was not at all disposed to part with his vineyard, and the Quaker 
held his own against the blandishments of the Peer, besides clearly 
coming off best in the matter of spelhng — the Earl would certainly not 
have passed any competitive examination in these enlightened days ! * 

The Earl of Chatham and John Eliot appear to have been on very neighbourly terms — see page 117. 


But Alariabella was not destined to enjoy her possessions for long. 
On the 25th January, 1 769, before she completed her thirty-third year, 
she passed away, and was buried in the burying-place of her fathers, at 
Croydon. Among the many papers and letters which refer to her, 
throughout her life, there is not a jarring note. She was evidently the 
object of the tenderest love of her relations, especially of her Uncle and 
Brother — even the irritable Grandfather and the formidable Aunts seem 
to have had nothing but kindness and affection for her, and her sister-in- 
law became a sister indeed. The circumstances of her birth and' child- 
hood early enlisted sympathy on her side, and I cannot help believing 
that there was some physical deformity which specially drew out the 
solicitude and tenderness of those around her. It is noteworthy that I 
have not been able to trace the smallest vestige of any love affair or 
suggestion of matrimonial arrangements, which fact would seem almost 
unaccountable unless her health (which was certainly delicate) and some 
physical drawback put such matters out of the question. 

We have seen in the correspondence of 1757 that she was impressed 
with the seriousness of religious questions and threw in her lot with the 
straiter order of Friends : her letters and memoranda show further that 
she became a humble and devoted Christian, bearing the special cross of 
her lot with cheerful meekness, and adorning her profession by a 
consistent walk. She left numerous Meditations and some poetic 
effusions, which her brother, in after years, copied carefully into a 
volume, happily still existent, as a record of a loving and beloved woman. 
It is in one of these Meditations or Essays on the subject of deformity 
that expressions occur which leave no reasonable doubt that she wrote 
as one who knew, by experience, the weight of this affliction. (See 



In July, 1770, it appears, from a book in J. E's beautiful handwriting, 
that " the Yearly Meeting in London having thought it expedient that a 
" religious Visit should be paid to friends in Holland, in order to afford 
"them some assistance, the following friends consented to have their 
" names set down for that service, viz : Isaac Sharpies, John Kendall, 
" William Fry, James Backhouse and John Eliot ; and accordingly on the 
" 7''> day of 7^'' month they met at Colchester." After a day or two 
spent there " on 3'''' day afternoon we took coach for Harwich Edward 
" Upcher accompanying us and arrived there a little before six " and 
attended a Meeting in that town. The next day they " went to take boat, 
"accompanied by our friends to the waterside, where we took a solemn 
" leave of each other." The passage to Helvoetsluys, in the packet, 
"Prince of Wales," took 21 hours. "We were all sick in the passage 
" but when we got ashore the sickness was over. We rested at Helvoet 
" till S"' hour next morning and then sat forward in a coach waggon for 
" the Briel thro' a corn and grazing country. The distance between these 
"places being about 7 English miles or an hour and a half in going. 
" From the Briel we went in a saihng boat along the Maese, a broad river, 
" to Rotterdam : there was five Parsons in our company with whom we 
" could not converse much for want of understanding the language, only, 
" one of our companions presented a little piece wrote by a friend, to one 
"of them, which he received kindly. They go mostly in black clothes 
" full trimmed, with large grizzle wigs that come down in a peak between 


" their shoulders, and smoak a deal of Tobacco, using much bowing and 
" ceremony to each other ; neither could we distinguish any diflference in 
" their conversation and behaviour from that of other people. Being 
" arrived at Rotterdam we put up at an English Inn, but first had some 
" trouble with the Porters that carried our things, they being very 
" exhorbitant and disposed to take advantage of strangers. Next morning 
" we set out very early aiming to reach Amsterdam that evening. This 
" days journey we made in Treckschuyts w'' are covered boats capable of 
" containing thirtv people, drawn by a horse. 

" We passed through the cities of Delft, Leyden and Haerlem. 
" Between Delft and Leyden are abundance of pleasure houses on each 
" side of the Canal with Gardens and Rows of Trees very grand. As we 
"were going out of the Town (Haerlem) there was an unusual appear- 
" ance of a great number of people coming from the Worship House with 
" bibles under their arms. We understood they had been to prepare 
" themselves to receive the sacrament so-called, the next day, this being 
" seventh day evening." Then follow accounts of their meetings and 
visitations among the Friends at Amsterdam. From thence they went 
by boat and coach waggon to " Twisk, a Village containing a pretty 
" many houses lying dispersedly, but neat and pleasant." On enquiring 
into the state of Friends there " to our great concern we found that 
" there had been such a mixture of those professing to be Quakers with 
" other sorts of people that they were almost entirely become one with 
" them, suffering the Mennonist preachers to preach among them some- 
" times, and at other times themselves would read the Bible (!) in their 
" Meetings and preach and pray as it seem"* in a formal manner." This 
derogatory mention of the Mennonites is curious, if it be true, as believed 
by many, that this interesting body are the real spiritual fathers of the 
Quakers, (see Barclay's " Inner life of the Religious Societies of the 

" From Hoorn we came the next morning being 5''' day thro' the cities 
'of Edam and Monnickedam to Amsterdam where we arrived about 
' noon having been about six hours on the way. This afternoon we met 
' together in order to consider the state of Friends and in what manner 
'help might be afforded them. As to the Meeting at Twisk we could 
' not look upon it any longer as a Meeting of Friends for the reasons 
' above mentioned." 

1770 ELIOT PAPERS 9 1 

As regards Amsterdam, " It appeared to us expedient that Friends 
" should have a few Queries offered them b)^ reading and considering 
" which, Friends might be often put in mind of their dut}' & by sending 
" answers to the Yearly Meeting annually, that Meeting might the better 
" understand how it was with them and so be enabled to afford them the 
" needful help," It will be remembered that this was the system by 
which the excellent Church Discipline of the Quakers was maintained in 
England for about 200 years, until, in course of time, the answering of 
these " Queries " became so much a matter of form, that a few years ago 
they were replaced by Exhortations to various duties, religious and civil, 
which are now read in their Meetings from time to time. 

After various Meetings and religious visits they finally returned to 
Helvoetsluvs, and " embarqued on the Prince of Wales Packet on 5''' day 
" morning, but it coming on a Calm after we had been sometime out to 
" Sea we did not land at Harwich till 7''' day after lO''^ hour, after a 
" passage of 48 hours & more. From thence came in the afternoon to 
" our Friend John Kendall's at Colchester. Got .safe home next day in 
" the evening, being 5''^ of 8''' Month, thro' the abundant mercy of the 
" Lord." 

From a brief memorial, drawn up after his death, we learn that, in 
1788, he made another religious visit to the Continent. " It had become 
' known that a number of persons in the South of France held principles 
' in divers respects according to those of our Society, and some Friends 
' in the Ministry having felt a concern to pay them a visit in Gospel 
' Love, he waited thereon and was also assistant in interpreting. This 
' visit, which in the event was attended with considerable satisfaction, 
' appears not to have been undertaken without apprehensions of personal 
' suflFering, it being previous, we understand, to the abrogation of the 
' severe laws which in that country prohibited the free performance of 
' religious worship." 

I am sorry that I have not, at present, come across any details of this 
Journey, which, occurring just before the beginning of the great 
Revolution, might give some curious insight into French life of the 




In 1770, John Eliot completed the building of two new houses in 
Bartholomew Close, at a cost of between six and seven thousand pounds.* 
It seems probable that one of these was originally designed for his sister, 
though, as we have seen, she died long before its completion. The other 
became the family home for exactly 60 years. There John and Mary 
Eliot's children were born, there two of them died in childhood, there 
the brother and sister, John and Mariabella, of the new generation, grew 
up, there John and Mary Eliot died, and, in course of time, their son 
John Eliot (IV) followed them, closing the direct Une of the Eliots in 

In 1772, we find John Eliot acting as Trustee in the marriage settle- 
ment of his neighbour Robert Howard, of Red Cross Street, in the City 
of London, Tin plate Worker and EHzabeth, the daughter of WiUiam 
Leatham of Pontefract, " Linnendraper " — (the banking business of the 
Leathams had evidently not yet begun or was so small a matter in 
comparison with the " linnendrapery " business that it was not worth 

Probably neither John Eliot nor Robert Howard foresaw that, in course 
of years, they were to become more closely united by the marriage (in 
I796)t of Robert Howard's son, Luke, with John Eliot's daughter, 

" The sites of these houses arc now occupied by the premises of the Royal General Dispensary and the 
Warehouses of Messrs Evans, Lescher & Co., Wholesale Druggists. 
■}■ See p.age 109. 


Mariabella, (already, in 1772, more than 2 years old) through whose 
children the race, though not the name, of the Ehots would be 

It is not from any lack of voluminous correspondence and memoranda 
that we fail to find material to carry on from year to year the history of 
John and Mary Eliot's life, but it passed along so evenly in a round of 
meetings and religious journeys and management (or mismanagement) of 
his estates that there seems really nothing of sufficient importance to 
lengthen out our story. 

Going back a little in our history, we find that on one occasion the 
family were greatly alarmed by the occurrence of a fire in Bartholomew 
Close which threatened to burn them out of house and home. 

" B. Close 14 7 mo. 1768. 
5 day. 
" Dear Sister 

" After a day spent with much Fatigue & Anxiety of mind I am 
' set down to write to thee. I believe thou little thought, any more than 
' we, of the great Exercise that awaited us, and was so nigh at Hand 
' when we parted from each other. For this morning very early we 
' were alarmed with the cry of Fire, so near as London House and it 
' burned with great rapidity in a very dreadful manner till Day Break &. 
' I think, awhile after, before it was at all got under. During which time 
' there seemed but little ProbabiUty but that we should be burnt down — 
' all the three Houses & not only them but the new ones* also : but ever 
' be remembered with Gratitude the Gracious Interposition of the Divine 
' Hand which prevented the fury of the flames reaching to us although 
' they had communicated themselves to (late) neighbour Locke's back 
' warehouse and as there is a great deal of slight Timber building, had it 
' not then providentially been stopt, we must have been in the greatest 
' danger imaginable, indeed, I think were very much so as it was. The 
' manner of which Deliverance was thus. There came an engine before 
' our door the Leather Pipe of which they laid along thro' the great 
' warehouse on the ground floor & came in with it behind, by which 
' means they got at the Fire & happily extinguished it, preventing its 
'spreading further our way. We were at a loss for water some time at 

* See page 93. 


" our Plug which heightened our distress but then the wind was in our 
" favour and rather kept it off. My dear Wife was favoured with great 
" equanimity considering the occasion and I was preserved or rather 
" brought into a good degree of Resignation to his will, hoping that if He 
" saw meet to strip me in such a manner, he wd find a way to bring Good 
" as it were out of evil. My wife was so tranquil that she put up most 
" of our furniture, in which I assisted a little (in ordering them away) 
"and we moved Household Goods to our neighbours, who were very 
" kind on this sorrowful occasion. Also a number of Friends came to 
" our assistance &. helped in moving the Goods, after w'^'' my dear Wife 
" removed also, I chusing to wait awhile to see what Turn Things would 
" take. When presently in great mercy, the Fire was suffered to abate 
" & by degrees to get further from us. So my dear wife returned home 
" again & we had all our Goods again in our House about 8 o'clock 
" excepting a parcel of Linnen which is yet missing & we were so 
" favoured as not to have one Looking Glass broke or any damage worth 
" mentioning to y«= furniture. We took care to have thy goods partly 
"removed & should have had more but were dissuaded by Friends who 
" began to think the danger over. I think on Enquiry thou hast not lost 
" anything except it be a Chair or Chair-bottom. I did expect my dear 
" wife would have fainted and been laid up, but hitherto she has borne up 
" to admiration, only is a great deal fatigued & weary, as I am too. I 
" think I can't well enlarge on any more particulars but conclude with 
" Desires to live in a grateful awful sense of the many mercies & 
" preservations bestowed on us." &c. 

"John Eliot." 

At another time they had an outbreak of smallj)ox in the family, but as 
the patient recovered they congratulated themselves that they " had not 
" fallen in with the prevaiUng practice of inoculation." We find by the 
account books that, like their relations, they also set up their coach and 
horses, but after less than two years* they sold them again and in a letter 
from John to Mary referring to some trouble which a friend had had with 
his coachman, they congratulate each other that they are free from such 


They had four children : — 

Mary, born lO November, 1767 — died at the age of 3 weeks. 

Mariabella, born 26 November, 1769, who married Luke Howard, 
in 1796. 

Ann, born 24. November, 1771 — died 4 April, 1776. 

John, born 26 November, 177 1 — died 7 March, 1830. 

The dates of the two latter births will excite surprise and, in fact, the 
mother very nearly lost her hfe, but was mercifully preserved to the great 
joy and thankfulness of her husband. 

As years go on the correspondence naturally relates, at times, to the 
children and grandchildren. Thus we find Mary Eliot writing to her 
husband, who appears to have been in the country in charge of the little 
ones, begging him to be careful that Jacky should "flap his hat" when 
out in the sun lest the skin of his face should suflFer. This curious 
expression I take to mean that Jacky wore a cocked hat, and, as this 
peculiar form of head gear does not aflbrd much protection to the face, he 
was to turn down the brim into a flap. There are various letters from 
Mary Eliot, written from her daughter's home at Plaistow, giving her 
husband very domestic directions about sending down fish by the coach, 
and occasionally a " pound cake " from some special confectioners in the 
City. As the grandchildren began to run about we find John Eliot 
writing to his son-in-law, who was staying near Aspley, begging him not 
to allow little Robert to go near the fishponds at Aspley by himself or 
with one of his cousins. I know not whether the non-existent early 
journals might have related that he ventured too near in his early days 
and got a ducking. 

I have sought carefully for any record of the Gordon Riots of 1780, 
but the following is the only letter that refers to them. 

" Barthol" Close 8"' 6 mo. 1780. 
10''' h"" evening. 
" My dear 

" I have the comfort to inform thee that through Divine Mercy we 
" have been hitherto very still this evening, altho' from Reports circulated 
"abroad it was expected to be one of the most dreadful that had yet 
" happened, several houses and places being marked out for destruction 
" and messages sent to that Effect. 


" The quiet we enjoy is not to be attributed to any change in the minds 
" of the populace, but under providence to the Great Number of Soldiers 
" Horse & Foot that have come into the City and patrole about the 
" streets. 

" But the scenes have been very distressing, deep sorrow covering 
" many countenances. Our neighbour Townsend had been concerned 
" for their Daughters who were dismayed with Fear and requested they 
" might be at our House. The young women on the other hand loth to 
" leave their Parents caused a struggle of Nature and tender parting. 
" I got them at length to Bart'^ Close where they lodge. James 
" Townsend & wife have also .sent some of their effects to our house as 
" did Cous^ Tibey and came herself, the House she lives in being 
" threatened to be burnt this evening. I hope the Lord is now putting a 
" stop to their monstrous wickedness, for, indeed, who could have borne 
" it much longer ? I think it could hardly have been borne. 

" 6''' Day MornS. We have pass"^ a quiet night in which I do not hear 
" of any disturbance being caused by the Rioters. If this repose 
" continues I probabl}^ may come down to thee this evening : I beheve 
" there would be no danger in thy coming to town, but as I have some 
" thoughts of our being at Peel on First day thou mayest consider 
" whether to defer it till then. 

" I remain Thy affectionate Husband 
"John Eliot." 

On Friday, 2 June, 1 780, a mob of 40,000 people, headed by Lord 
George Gordon, assembled in St. George's Fields under the name of the 
Protestant Association, to carry up a petition to Parliament for the repeal 
of the Act which granted certain indulgences to Roman Catholics. The 
mob could not be dispersed and proceeded to pull down the Chapels and 
houses of the Roman Cathohcs, and afterwards of other persons, and to 
open the gaols and attack the Bank of England. On the 7th thirty-six 
fires were blazing at one time. At length the riot was quelled, on the 
8th, (the date of the above letter.) 210 rioters were killed, 248 wounded, 
of whom 75 died afterwards in the hospitals, and many were sub- 
sequently tried, convicted, and executed. The loss of property was 
estimated at ^180,000. Lord George Gordon was tried for High 
Treason and acquitted. He afterwards died a prisoner for libel, in 1793. 
(For a graphic account of these riots see Dickens' " Barnaby Rudge.") 



One would like to know who Jacob Chapman was, and what were the 
books referred to in the following letter. 

27'i' 3 mo. 1782. 
"Jacob Chapman 

" Staplehurst, Kent. 

" I received the guinea (owed me) with thy letter, in which 
" thou recommendest to me the perusal of certain books. For answer, 
" I believe if I am obedient to the principle of Divine Light and Truth, 
" it will be well with me. A valuable collection of Books, which treat of, 
" and direct to, this principle I have by me, many of which I have read 
" and do still read them at times to my comfort and edification. As for 
" those books which exalt not this principle, I must plainly tell thee, I am 
" not careful to peruse them. 

" In the first chapter of John we read, that in the Word that was in 
" the Beginning there was Life and the Life was the Light of Men. And 
" this the Apostle calls in another place, the Unction (anointing in Christ) 
"and says it was Truth, which he testifies the Believers had received. 
" It would be well for all, did they come hither, and learn their Religion 
" of this Divine Teacher. Again, I am the Lord, that teacheth thee to 
"profit. (Isaiah xlviii, 17.) I herewith send thee two treatises tending 
" to promote evangelical Righteousness and purity, which were lately 
" written and published for a general service : and desire thy acceptance 
" of them. 

" I remain Thy assured friend J. E." 


(It does not appear to have struck him that he was acting unfairly in 
declining to read the books sent to him and yet expecting his corres- 
pondent to read the " two treatises.") 

The following feminine amenity from "Aunt Bridger," in 1785, is too 
good to be lost. 

" 1 will agree to give our Cousin John Turner^' five pounds if you 
" will give the same, but as to being better able to afford it than yourself, 
" I am sure you cannot think I can : as, if you recollect you said when 
" I was married. Sir John would be arrested at the Church door : there- 
" fore you must be vastly richer than I can be. 
" I am, My dear Nephew 

" Your sincerely affectionate Aunt." 

(Her Ladyship had evidently kept this shaft in her quiver waiting for 
an opportunity to discharge it.) 

In 179 1, I find an interesting letter from a certain Henry Ould, whom 
I beheve to have been distantly connected with J. E. by a marriage in the 
XVII century. It relates that he had invented an artificial horizon to be 
attached to " Hadley's Quadrant," for taking observations when the true 
horizon is obscured by mist ; and it is accompanied by a copy of a 
certificate as to its utility, granted by order of Vice Admiral Lord Hood, 
signed by the seven masters of the Flag ships Victory, Princess Royal, 
Prince George, Barfleur, Formidable, Impregnable and London. This is 
doubtless the Victory of Trafalgar celebrity. 

Under date of 17 June, 1785, is the following curious letter from 
certain fishermen of East Looe who seem to have been caught poaching 
salmon on the Treworgy Estate. 

" Honoured Sir 

" We whose names are here set do most humbly beg your 
" Honour's kind answer to this request. We acknowledge ourselves 
" Trespassers on your Honour's Royalty by catching fish in the River 
" Looe, which we had never done had not the Mayor of the Burrow 
" desired us to do so and also Sir John Morshead said the same time he 
" did not mean to hinder the fishing as there was fish enough for him 
" and us also. 


" Now Mr John Trehawke of Liskeard has brought against us a bill for 
'.£^ 8 o, also we must put our names in the Publick Paper. But we 
" trust that your Honour will not be so sevare with us and your Honour 
" mentioned in a letter to Mr Danger that you would let your Royalty to 
" the Gentlemen of East Looe. But if you would let your Royalty below 
" the Bridge to me James Rabitts I will give your Honour five guineas 
" per year for 7 or 14 years. 

" Honoured Sir we hope your Honour will let us know what we are to 
" pay the above sum for. Your answer by the return of Post directed to 
"James Rabitts in East Looe will greatly oblige your dutj^ful and most 
" humble Servants 

James Rabitts 
Edmund Speare 
Robert Debell." 

We can hardly doubt that so humble a petition received a gracious 
response from the " Honoured Sir." 

In the course of the years there occur curious references to the 
poaching habits of some of the Ashmore people. The Parish of 
Ashmore forms part of Cranbourne Chase, and, in consequence, was at 
that time overrun with Lord Rivers' deer, and thus there was a great 
temptation to shoot these deer when a safe opportunity occurred. It 
would appear that " Dicky Rideout," whom some, now living, remember 
as an old man, began his poaching habits early in life, for it seems that he 
borrowed a gun from another lad, who was scaring birds, and therewith 
bagged a deer, which he hid in his father's outhouse. This was, perhaps, 
the first, but certainly not the last deer which he shot, and the fame of 
his exploits will long live to be told over the cottage fires in the quiet 

The following letter refers to smaller game, but it must have been 
painful to a Squire to have to write such a rebuke to his Gamekeeper. 

London, 20 of ii mo. 1787. 
"John Stainer 

" I have heard a great complaint against thee for misbehaviour in 
"thy emplov of killing game on my account. In the first place it is said 
" thou hast gone out on a first Day of the week commonly called Sunday 
" which is a great offence as that day is set apart for Divine Worship. 


" It is also said that thou didst take another person of the Parish along 
" with thee who I believe has no Deputation to kill game." (The 
appointment of a Gamekeeper was, at that time, a very formal and 
serious matter.) 

" It has given me concern that thou hast set so bad an example and 
" hast been in danger of great hurt and suffering to thyself & family by 
"this means: for had not a neighbouring Justice of the Peace before 
" whom an Information had been laid, kindly attended to my Intercession 
" on thy behalf, this misdemeanour of thine might have been followed 
" with terrible consequences. 

" It also appears to me by this instance that thou dost sometimes kill 
"game and convert the profit of it to thy own use — All of which 1 
" would have thee duly to consider and not to offend in like manner for 
" the time to come, but so to conduct thyself as I may have cause to 
" continue thee in this employ." 

The Justice in question was evidently the well-known Mr Chaffin of 
Chettle — a keen sportsman and a quaint writer on sporting subjects, but 
a courteous neighbour to John Eliot — although, being a sporting Parson, 
there can have been little in common between him and the rigid Quaker 

Under date of 27th of 3 mo. 1 788, John Eliot's Cousin, Richard T. 
How, writes, enclosing a copy of a letter received by his father from the 
Bishop of Carlisle on the subject of the Slave trade. It shews how 
Quakers & Clergy were already working together in the endeavour to put 
down that iniquitous traffic. The subject appears to have been first 
discussed in Parliament in 1787. In 1 79 1 the question was debated for 
two days. In 1798 Mr Wilberforce brought forward a motion for the 
abolition of the trade which was lost by only 5 votes, but the trade was 
not abolished by Parliament until the 25th March, 1807. It will be 
remembered that, far on in the XV III century the public conscience was 
so little aroused that the pious John Newton remained captain of a slave 
ship for some time after he had become a sincerely Christian man. 
Even from his later writings it would seem that his mind was more 
impressed by the recollection of the wicked life that he had led personally 
in his younger days than by the inherent iniquity of the traffic in human 
flesh in which he had been engaged. 


From the Bishop of Carhsle to R. How 

" Windsor Castle 

Jan. 26 1788 
" Dear Sir, 

" I can assure you that it gave me real pleasure to receive a letter 
" from you, as 1 had often lamented that an Acquaintance begun at 
" Leipzig so many years ago, had been totally suspended ever since our 
" return to our own Country. I had a real regard for Mr How and the 
" subject of his letter shews that he is worthy of my highest esteem. I 
" ever wished to see an end put to the disgraceful traffic to the Coast of 
" Africa and have often remarked in conversation that our" (by "our" I 
conclude that he means " the Europeans' " or " the Christians' " as he can 
hardly claim the discovery for the British ! ) " Discovery of America had 
" been attended with the most horrid consequences and had served only 
" to annihilate the poor natives of that Continent and to drain a third part 
" of the Old World of its Inhabitants in order to supply the Havock of 
" our Cruelties. As a Christian and as a Christian Bishop I heartily 
" w(ish well) to your benevolent endeavours and I must do your religious 
" Society (the) honour of acknowledging that they first began this good 
"work (which) now seems to have engaged the attention of many 
" respectable Persons of every Denomination. 

" If you ever make an Excursion to London I shall be happy to see 
"you. Alas! how few of those whom we loved or lived with Forty 
" years ago are now in Being ! This consideration naturally weans us 
" from an immoderate Attachment to this World & makes us, or at least 
"ought to make us, more intent upon securing our future and eternal 
" Interests. The humane solicitations which you have undertaken are a 
" proof that you have chosen this One Thing needful. 
" I am, with great sincerity, Dear Sir, 

" Your most faithful & Obedt. servant 
"J. Carhol." 

We may remark, in passing, that the man to whom such a letter could 
be addressed must have been sadly misjudged by John Eliot's worthy 
grandfather, (see page 28.) 



The following extracts from letters received by John Eliot relate to 
the Civil War in Ireland in 1 798. 

From Edward Hatton, Cork 13"' 6 mo. 1798. 

" I set out for Milford (from Bristol) and got there on vesterday 
" week. That day 5 vessels arrived from Waterford with passengers, 
" mostly women & children, many belonging to the County Wexford — 
"the cryes of the women was fully as much as I could bear being 
" obliged to leave their Husbands & many of their children to the mercy 
" of the Insurgents. About 7 we took shipping & next morni at 8 
" o'clock landed quietly 7 miles below Waterford & got horses & came 
"to their Meeting which was gathered. Friends there was under much 
" discouragement not knowing but before morning they would be 
"surrounded by Irishmen (then) about 12 miles from them. Three 
" days before, the slaughter was great. S. EUy wrote that the return of 
"what was buried was 2061 ; besides that 2000 more it was thought 
" lay dead. The smell & fatigue was so great that many was thrown 
" down the river that led to the sea, — that S.E. had 100 persons to feed 
" and lodge but that he was obliged to be supplied with provisions from 
"Waterford. The Insurgents was then in two companies, one near 
" Inniscorthy and the other near Wexford Town, judged to be ab' 25000, 
" the Troops are preparing to meet them and as its expected no quarter 


will be given on either side, thou may partly judge what a sorrowful 
event is likely to ensue which we expect soon to hear of. We left 
Waterford on seventh day and got to Clonmel — there the minds of the 
people seemed more tossed than at the place we came from, appre- 
hending danger was not far from them. We left them on Second day 
morning, not knowing that we should be let go many miles before we 
might fall into the hands of those benighted men, but through Mercy 
we got home that day without any hindrance. I understand only one 
young man of our Society has fallen and that by his own imprudence 
joining the Army & was shot by the opposite party. Some friends' 
houses have been burned and their property. This place remains quiet 
as to any inroad of an outward enemy but fears abound in general 
among the inhabitants. A. Shackleton was taken by the Insurgents 
and was with them 2 days and 3 nights. They wanted him to head 
them but on his refusing, after many threats, they let him go on 
condition that he would try to make peace on as good terms as he could 
for them when the two armies was in sight of each other — which he 
effected without the loss of a Life, by their laying down their arms, 

From Joseph Druitt. DUBLIN 18''' of 6 mo. 1798. 

" Affecting indeed is the state of this country — all tumult & 
" confusion from the civil war now raging, at present rather with 
" symptoms of increase than otherwise, the chief seat of it is about 40 
" or 50 Irish miles from the Capital — both parties are in formidable 
" force and a dreadful conflict is now impending, or at least no account 
" has arrived of its being decided. Should it terminate any way in 
" favour of the popular party, it is expected the risings will be general ; 
"& whichever way it may be, deplorable must be the carnage & 
" slaughter." The latter part of the letter urges the Friends in London 
to act as " intercessors or mediators for the staying the sword " 
pointing out that " you on that side are not immediately concerned as 
" parties & that Friends here, in the general, are clear of being engaged 
" as parties on either side, you may with greater boldness under the 
" direction of best Wisdom undertake to intercede." 

1798 ELIOT PAPERS 107 

From Joseph Druitt, LURGAN, l8"' of 7 mo. 1798. 

" The disturbances in this country have occasioned me nearly to 
" suspend my business for the present, being desirous to keep some 
" part of my httle stock in England. We have been greatly favoured 
" immediately in and near this town, though frequently much alarmed, 
" there having been engagements between the Army and insurgents in 
" the Counties of Antrim and Down, both places only a few miles 
" distant. 

" In Wexford, Carlow & Kildare, friends have been much harrassed, 
" my Brother in law William Pim has lost near one thousand pounds in 
" various ways, the town he lives in being kept by the rebels during 
" three days. We are in some uneasiness as the papers since mention a 
"straggling party having been repulsed from a town near which he lives: 
" many friends in Wexford, reduced, it is said, to live for some days on 
" barley bread & water, not having a cow left them to give milk. It is 
" now said that the remains of these deluded people who have escaped 
"from Leinster, have appeared in the borders of our Province and are 
" burning & laying waste the County of Cavan, which causes some degree 
" of alarm here : before this, the province of Ulster had been for the 
" last month pretty tranquil & quite free from any risings or disturb- 

(The Irish rebelhon began 4 May 1798, and was not finally suppressed 
until I799-) 



It is curious how little echo of the great events that were taking 
place in the world during the last decade of the XVIII and the first 
decade of the XIX centuries we can trace in the letters. The stream 
of quiet English life seems to have been singularly Uttle ruffled except 
by the increased taxation. It is well to remember that our forefathers 
had to consider carefully how many windows they could afford to keep 
open to the light, as each one involved a heavy window-tax ; and in 
many other details of household economy the question of taxation was 
always before men's minds. From allusions in letters of this period 
a suspicion has crossed my mind that John Ehot's objection to armorial 
bearings was not wholly a religious scruple but to some extent, if not 
entirely, a question of avoiding needless taxes when so many had to be 

Farming does not seem to have been necessarily a source of 
fortune, even in those days, if we may judge from the difficulty which he 
experienced in getting in his rents, and we find him writing to his 
Agent — who was probably asking for some fresh outlay on the Estate — 
that if the owner of Ashmore had no other resources he would be little 
better than a pauper ! But though he grumbled at the bad times, his 
house was always open to those in distress, and his gifts must have 
amounted to a considerable sum. 

On the 7'"' December, 1796, John EHot's only surviving daughter 
Mariabella was married to Luke Howard,* the son of his old friend and 

* Sec page 93. We find from the " Gentlem.iii's M.iga2ine " th:it at the time of his marriage Luke 
Howard was liviiiR in Fleet St. 


neighbour Robert Howard. The young Luke Howard must have been 
a gratifying son-in-law. His father, Robert Howard, was a man of 
singularly strong and sterUng character, who had achieved great success 
in business by straightforward means. He was a pioneer in the applica- 
tion of division of labour to his own branch of manufacture — the 
excellence of the goods turned out of his Works, in Old Street, was such 
that the few specimens that have come down to our time are treasured 
as f;ir superior to modern work, and a story which his grandson, Robert 
Howard, was fond of teUing, shows that hisprosperity was not gained by 
oppressing his workpeople. At some time towards the end of last 
century or at the very beginning of the present, there were serious riots 
in London because of the price of bread, and an unfounded rumour was 
circulated that the Quakers were guilty of "forestaUing" corn, and so pro- 
ducing an artificial dearth. The word \vas therefore passed round 
among the mob that they were to " have a go at the old Quaker's in 
Old Street." 

The workmen at the Factory got wind of the intention, and, without 
consulting their master, whose Quaker principles would have been 
against resisting force by force, they formed their own plans. The stools 
at which they sat at their work were three-legged, the legs being made of 
old coach-wheel spokes. They took out these legs, which formed the 
toughest possible of truncheons — drew on their shirts over their coats 
so that they might know each other in the dark (a true " camisarde ") 
and awaited the arrival of the mob. When these gentlemen appeared, 
expecting to have things all their own way, they found themselves 
welcomed so warmly that after receiving a sound thrashing they dispersed 
and carefully avoided the neighbourhood in future. There is still 
extant a manly and well reasoned pamphlet in which Robert Howard 
exposes the fallacy of the prejudice against the Quakers, and of the 
slanders in circulation about them. 

The house in which he lived may still be identified, a small portion of 
the handsome old grey and red brick building remaining as No. 75 Old 
Street, the larger part having been pulled down to make way for a public 
house. Turning down Central Street we soon come on the left to 
" Howard's Buildings," which evidently occupy the spot where his 
workshops formerly stood. A curious proof of the rapid growth of 
London may be traced in the fact that he left this house and went to live 


at Stamford Hill, because the green fields between Old Street and the 
New River began to be built over. In the present day there is an 
unbroken sea of houses for miles in that direction. A few of his letters 
have been preserved, which show a large heart and a kindly humour. 

Luke Howard himself was one of a circle of brilliant young men, who 
in March, 1796, formed themselves into an Association called the 
Askesian Society, for the discussion of scientific questions. Among the 
Members were William Allen, William Phillips, Alexander Tilloch, and 
W. H. Pepys. This Society was, in 1806, merged into the Geological 
Society, but among the papers which were read before it during its short 
existence was at least one which has attained world-wide celebrity. It 
was a short essay read in 1803 by Luke Howard, proposing a classifica- 
tion and nomenclature of the clouds. 

It is claimed by French writers that, in iSol, one of their Savants, 
Lamarck, had already sketched out such a classification. This is very 
possible, although it seems clear that Luke Howard had never heard of 
the attempt. Great advances in science are generally the result of 
thoughts which are moving in many minds, but the honour lies with the 
man who grasps the whole question and reduces vague speculations into 
a scientific and practical form. Luke Howard not only suggested a 
classification of the clouds, but worked out the whole subject on such a 
well-considered system that the names which he selected for the various 
modifications have survived nearly a century of criticism and attempted 
amendment, and remain the accepted standard for the whole scientific 

Although he is recognised as the father of the modern science 
of meteorology there is no doubt that this essay was his greatest achieve- 
ment. He continued to study the science for many years. In 18 18 he 
pubhshed a work in two volumes on "The Chmate of London"* — the 
result of a good many years' observations. It was of undoubted value 
at the time, and set many other minds working, but the theory which 
he attempted to establish of a regularly recurring cycle of hot and cold 
seasons has not been entirely confirmed by subsequent observations, 
although it has some undoubted basis in fact. He possessed for very 
many years a registering clock,t by which the variations of the barometer 

* A second edition in three volumes appeared in 1833. 

t This clock is now in the possession of his Grandson, William Dillworth Howard, and is a beautiful 
specimen of workmanship. 


were recorded on the outer portion of the dial, which made one revolu- 
tion in the twelve months. These diagrams were afterwards pubHshed, 
at great expense, under the name of " Barometrographia." But perhaps 
his most useful publication — next to the essay on the Modifications of 
the Clouds, was a little volume called " Seven Lectures on Meteorology," 
which formed an invaluable text-book for many years. He was made a 
Fellow of the Royal Society, and a Member of some of the learned 
Societies of the Continent. 

His Classification of the Clouds attracted the notice of the poet 
Goethe, who wrote a poem on the subject, and entered into a corres- 
pondence which will be found in Goethe's Complete Works. The poet's 
original letter is still in the possession of the family. L. H. also became 
connected with Germany by the useful work which he accomplished in 
distributing a fund raised in England for the relief of the sufferers bv the 
Napoleonic Wars. His services to the Germans were so conspicuous 
that he was presented with a diamond ring by the King of Prussia,* and 
with some very beautiful specimens of Saxon porcelain (made for the 
purpose) by a Committee representing the Kingdom of Saxony. He was 
also made an Honorary Citizen of Magdeburg. 

It is pleasant to find that his services to Meteorology are not forgotten 
by the English public. A leading article in the " Standard " of the 26th 
April, 1893, speaks of him as "the admirable Mr Howard, who has so 
patiently preserved the scattered weather notes of his time." 

Luke Howard began business in Fleet Street, but afterwards went into 
partnership with the celebrated man of science and philanthropist William 
Allen. They had a Chemical Manufactory at Stratford, Essex, and a 
Warehouse at Plough Court, Lombard Street. In course of time the 
two businesses were separated, each to hold a leading position in its 
own Hne. The Stratford business remains as that of Messrs Howards & 
Sons, and the Plough Court branch as that of Messrs Allen & 

But to return to his marriage with Mariabella Eliot. The union was 
a very well assorted one ; for the sound practical common sense inherited 
by the wife from the Eliot family, served as a useful balance to the 

* A second diamond ring was given by another Potentate. Both rings are still in the possession of the 
family, as is also the porcelain. 

1796 — 1797 ELIOT PAPERS II3 

brilliant but rather erratic genius of the husband, and the children par- 
took, in varying proportions, of both characteristics. 

The young couple settled at Plaistow in Essex — then a small country 
village, with a leisurely coach to London once a day, charging 3/- inside, 
and 2/- outside — return fare. Besides being conveniently near his 
business at Stratford it possessed the attraction of a large Meeting of 
the Friends, which was attended by many well-known families, the 
Gurneys of Ham House, the Frys of Plashet, the Barclays of Leyton and 
others. In the early part of the present century there were " seldom 
less than twenty carriages, nearly all with a pair of horses, at the Friends' 
Meeting on a Sunday morning." (See " Old Plaistow," by J. S. Curwen, 
charmingly illustrated by Spedding Curwen, for this and many other 
details of the village in old days.) 

Luke Howard's house was in the principal street, known by the quaint 
name of " Balaam Street." It still stands, and is, I believe, at present 
inhabited by the local Doctor. 

At Plaistow were born their eight children : — 

Mary — 17 November, 1797 — died at about 17 years of age. 

Robert — 26 June, 1801 — died 2 June, 187 1. Married Rachel, 
daughter of Samuel Lloyd, of Birmingham, and left issue. 

Elizabeth — 26 January, 1803 — died 19 January, 1836, married 
John Hodgkin, of Tottenham, and left issue. 

Rachel — 18 June, 1804 — died unmarried 24 September, 1837. 
Authoress of many useful works for the instruction of children in 
Scriptural knowledge. 

MariabELLA — 31 July, 1805 — died 7 June, 1806. 

A Son, not named — 1 1 August, 1806 — died 20 August, 1806. 

John Eliot — ll December, 1807— died 22 November, 1883- 
Married Maria, daughter of William Dilhvorth Crewdson, of Kendab 
and left issue. 

Joseph — 30 May, 1811 — died unmarried 13 June, 1833, 


Luke Howard afterwards bought an estate known as the Villa, Ack- 
worth, near Pontefract — being attracted to that neighbourhood probably 
by the fact that his Mother came from Pontefract, and also by the 
existence in the village of a colony of Friends and a large pubhc school 
of the Society, in which he took a great interest. 

Luke Howard was born Nov. 28, 1772, and died March 21, 1864, at 

Mariabella Howard was born in 1769, and died Feb. 23, 1852, at 
Tottenham. Both were buried in the " Friends' " Burial Ground at 
Winchmore Hill, Middx. 



It is needless to lengthen out our history — what has already been 
recorded is sufficient to give some sort of picture of this long and 
useful life, and I have done my best to present it fairly in its various 

We may therefore pass on to the close, which took place on the loth 
of January, 1813, at the age of 77, and in this case as in others, we are 
enabled to judge of the esteem in which the subject of our researches 
was held by his neighbours, through the obituary notices or 
" Testimonies " which were recorded, after the custom of the Society of 
Friends, as well as by less formal and more personal memoranda. The 
" Testimony " drawn up by the Peel Monthly Meeting (the Meeting for 
Church discipline to which he belonged) has been already quoted, 
where it gives details which are not found in Journals or Letters. It 
gives a very brief account of his last days, which were passed peacefully 
in the company of his son and daughter. " A week or two before his 
" last illness, in speaking to a friend he emphatically said ' Mercy I need 
"and mercy I have,' and when near his end, 'On his son's signifying 
" concern for his great bodily weakness,' he replied ' It is as the Lord 
" pleaseth.' He very tranquilly departed this life on the 9*'' of V^ month 
" 18 13 at his house in Bartholomew Close, London, and on the l6"' his 
" remains were interred in Friends' Burial Ground at Winchmore Hill. 
" He was in the 78"' year of his age and had been a Minister about 
"53 years." 


It appears that his wife had died " about a year before his decease," 
and his remains were laid close beside hers. 

The following little poems written at the time by friends may not be 
of great Hterary value, but show the esteem in which he was held. 

" Friend, from my youth to life's maturer age 
" Grateful I pay the tributary tear — 
" And, whilst thy loss my pensive thoughts engage 
" A monitory voice I seem to hear. 

"As if on Zephyr's softest wings it came, 
" Saluting mental ear with accents kind — 
" Let his example kindle virtue's flame — 
" Elijahs still their mantles leave behind." 

" The writer of the above Unes wishes them to be considered as an 
"affectionate tribute to the memory of one who has befriended and 
" soothed him in the hour of adversity and affliction and occasionally 
" favoured him with his short but pithy advice." 

"John Eliot departed this Hfe lo'>^ of the I^' month 18 13, Aged 77. 

" Of polished manner and of peaceful mind 

" Learning and wealth, with meekness crowned, were seen. 

" The Christian with the Gentleman combined, 

" Shone in his life and dignified his mien. 

" The world's delights and transient joys of youth 
" He tried unsatisfied, then rose above, 
"Preferred the "still small voice" of heavenly truth 
" And pure perfections of redeeming love. 

" To earthly things he gave their proper place, 

" And walked through life with step so firm and even 

" That all who knew him might distinctly trace 

" A rich man* subject to the reign of Heaven." 


* Matthew XIX. 24. 


The following letter, written by John Eliot's Cousin Mary Stephenson 
about 52 years after his death, contains many interesting reminiscences, 
but I am convinced that in several matters there are confusions between 
John Eliot I and John Eliot III — both of whom might have been 
remembered by Mary Stephenson's Mother. 

Thus we may feel quite certain that J. E. Ill never wore a sword 
after he appeared at Meeting in a plain hat in 1757, and I can hardly 
think that his coach ever took him or his children to places of 
amusement, though his Grandfother's coach may doubtless have been so 
engaged. John Eliot III only bought his coach on 10 mo. 31, 1775, 
when he paid ;^90 for it; on 12 mo. 8, he gave ;^50 for a pair of 
horses, and on 3 mo. 14, 1776, he gave j(^l6 14s 6d for the harness. 
On 2 mo. 27, 1777, he sold the horses, and on 4 mo. 22, 1778, he 
sold the coach and harness, so he only had it in actual use for less 
than a year. 

" The name of " Eliot " from my Mother's early days, and those of her 
"children, was very intimately associated — I remember her knowing of 
" the Eliot family being, when little children, made social at or on the 
" dinner table rather (being allowed to walk upon it amidst the wine 
" bottles) of their neighbour, the Earl of Chatham, at the time their 
" grounds joined, before my cousin relinquished the high style on which 
" he for " conscience sake " gave up that mode of living, and which 
" within my Mother's memory so much differed from a later period of 
" his hfe. I have often heard my Mother speak of my Cousin's coach, 
" when for their childrens going out, it was used to take them to their 
" place of amusement, my Mother and Aunts being their cotemporaries 
" in childhood. At that time J. E. and indeed the greater part, I believe, 
" of his life, constantly kept a country and a town house — the latter, in 
" London, he built himself, but within my recollections his manner of 
" life was comparatively plain, with not more than one footman, and a 
"simple open carriage, and after his Father's death, his son still. more 
" self-denying, retained not more than one dwelling house, I think tio 
" carriage and not more in all than perhaps three servants — (besides an 
" Almoner, he was a man of very superior excellence — of great worth?) 

" But I remember knowing that a single sister of my cousin John 
" Eliot, drove her coach & four, and I have heard my Mother speak of 
" cousin John E's in Dress, wearing his sword. 


" He was a very great gentleman, both in manners and person, his 
' hand was, I thinlv, almost the softest with which mine was ever pressed. 
' Of my dearest Sarah he was very fond in her infancy and childhood, 
'when at their -house, at which from our Infantile Days we were very 
' often staying both in town and country, it used to be one of her treats 
' to ride upon his foot, and be led about his beautiful garden by his 
' own hand. 

" I never knew him to take so much interest in any young person as 
' in that of my dearest sister Sarah, nor was he indeed very attractive 
' to children generally, his seriousness when we knew him approaching 
' to gravity. 

" Of myself I do not remember his taking much notice in my child- 
' hood except in one instance when I think his wife or my cousin 
' Mariabella had taught me to knit, and I endeavoured to teach it to him, 
' till my complaining of his awkwardness and trial of my patience, so 
' excited the company, that in his gentle way, he at last acknowledged he 
' had better give up Cousin's instructions. His son (IV) used to make 
' me his plaything in my infancy, racing with me about the grounds, and 
' in later hfe, to the end of his, he was my correspondent, my counsellor, 
' my guide and a most loved relative and very dear friend, quite a 
' parental one, whose loss we had all the greatest reason to deplore. 
' Earth felt a desolation for days, after his lamented death. It was after 
' our dear parents, and he was to 2is all, as next to a Father. 

" There was something of a grandeur at his own Dinner table in the 
'sight of my Cousin John EHot Senr. (Ill) occupying the centre of the 
' left side of it by himself, his wife sitting at the head, he used to use a 
' large water plate, under that upon which his meat was served, and 
' Daniel, his well looking footman, handing him his large silver waiter 
' with a great silver tankard that had a handsome cover thrown back for 
' his master to drink out of, all in brilliant polish. His wife's silver 
' drinking mug with its beautiful glass bottom used to be an amusement 
' for our infantile eyes, which I shall perhaps never forget. They had 
' table cloths and napkins with their own arms upon them, made for 
' them in Holland. 

" There arrived a period in which my Cousin resolved no longer to 
' waste money in paying the tax for such articles, and his wife had to cut 
' up these elegant damasks, woven expressly for their use in a foreign 
' country. 


" I believe he, J. E. and the Earl of Chatham were ver\^ friendly 
" neighbours when their estates joined. In his family his humility was 
" distinguished ; he used often to come to our house, perhaps more 
" frequently than to most others. He was particularly kind to my 
" Father's children, but I did not like him so much as his more cheerful 
" son, and it was not very pleasant, or at least I did not find it so, to ride 
"with him in his open carriage, he was so serious, not to say very grave, 
" but my dearest Sarah did not find his demeanour uncongenial, she used 
"to be more pleased to be with him. 

" His wife was as volatile as he was demure, and to be with them 
" together was sometimes really amusing. 

" The name of Giles Fetiplace"''' was to us an unknown one before thy 
" last kind letter. How much I should like to see his residence at 
" Coin, by thy daughter Mariabella perhaps it has been visited ? 

" I have an idea that I've heard Mary, the wife of John Eliot, speak of 
" a person or persons named Bellers, but I should fear to assert 
" it positively. 

" The estate at Coin continued the property of some of the descendents 
"of the two families till a few years since. Were these descendents 
" those of Maria Bella Howard ? f 

" I shall always be pleased to hear of the welfare of the famihes of your 
" Tribe, and with our united love to all our Cousins. 

" I remain thine obliged 

" Mary Stephenson." 

In the " Gentleman's Magazine" for 1813, part I, p. 185, the obituary 
notice is given under the date of Jan. 9 " In his 78th year, John Eliot of 
" Bartholomew Close, one of the people called Quakers : a man strictly 
" conscientious and of extreme beneficence." 

* See note on p.ige 4. 

t No ! certainly not, hut probably of Lady Bridger. 



Of John Eliot (IV) we find little to record. He was born, as we have 
seen, on the 26th November, 177 1, having a twin sister Ann, who died 
in her fifth year : and he died on the 7th of March, 1830. He was, as 
far as I can trace, born in the same house (built by his father in 1770) 
in which he lived and died, unmarried. His course seems to have been 
singularly uneventful, and I have not been able to find any personal 
details of sufficient interest to record. He was pious and studious, but 
does not seem to have left any literary remains except numerous " com- 
monplace books " on the subjects which he was reading, and a small 
pamphlet to elucidate certain obscure passages in " Barclay's Apology," 
which perhaps serves to make the obscurity rather more apparent than 
it already was. 

We must, however, not omit to record that subsequent generations 
are greatly indebted to him for the pains which he took in preserving 
family records and papers, and in drawing up a carefully prepared genea- 
logy which has not only proved of great interest but has often been 
referred to to settle legal points relating to family property. 

His nephew, Robert Howard, hved with him for some time in the old 
house in Bartholomew Close, and I think always retained a sense of 
respect mingled with awe at the dulness of the menage of the worthy 
bachelor Uncle. John EHot (IV) was, however, of the same generous 
temper as his father — not always discreet perhaps in his benefactions, 
for his Nephew used to relate that there were quite a swarm of pension- 
ers who retired to spend their doles at the neighbouring Public House. 
(Perhaps the very place where the Parish Club used to dine off his 
father's confiscated pewter plates.) 


One of his personal characteristics was extreme shyness, to which 
was added what can onlv be described as an exaggerated form of prudery. 
During his last illness he was visited by one of his nieces in company 
with her husband. On taking leave, the husband suggested, sotto voce, 
that his wife should kiss her Uncle, but she instantly repelled the 
suggestion, as she said he would not think it at all proper. 

He is said to have once got so far towards making a proposal of 
marriage as to reach the door-step of the lady, but, with his hand on the 
knocker, shyness overcame him and he fairly turned tail, and, as he would 
have expressed it, " withdrew from the undertaking." 

He was a strict Quaker, and of recognised standing in the Society, 
though not equal to that occupied by his Father. I am not sure that 
he ever preached in their Meetings. 

It is however very pleasant — after recording the life-long battle which 
his father waged against everything connected with the National Church 
— to close the history of the John Eliots with the evidence that kinder 
views prevailed before the race died out. 

A few years ago, I was visiting the beautiful old Church of St. 
Bartholomew-the-Great (from which Bartholomew Close takes its name) 
and happened, on leaving, to mention to Miss Hart, the well-known 
and most eccentric old sextoness, that my ancestors the Eliots lived 
close by. To my surprise the old lady brightened up at once and said, 
" I remember Mr John EHot the old bachelor gentleman very well, and 
" he left ^30 to the poor of the parish, you can see his name among 
" the benefactors painted up in the Church." 

I could hardly believe that she was not mistaken, but she led me back 
to the old board, then placed conspicuously in the Church, but now 
removed to some back region, and there the last name of all was "John 
Eliot," with the date 1830, and the record of his bequest. 

And so we may part with the last of the John Eliots passing away 
quietly, at peace with his God and with all the world, and leaving a good 
name to be remembered gratefully by his poorer neighbours, fully half 
a century after he was laid near his father and mother in the Friends' 
Burial Ground at Winchmore Hill. 

" The memory of the just is blessed." 


Note. In the second part of these memorials I take up the thread 
of the papers which came into the family by the marriages of John 
Ehot (II) with Mariabella Farmborough Briggins and of John Eliot (III) 
with Mary Weston. These go back to the XVII century, and contain 
much of interest in connection with the early history of the Society 
of Friends and other matters. 

I 2 


(the essay or meditation on the subject of deformity, by 
mariabella eliot, alluded to on page 88.) 

Having heard some years ago a great character of " An Essay on Deformity," and 
accidently seen it in a Bookseller's window, I thought of buying it, as I was afterwards 
sitting by myself, but then remembering that I had heard the sentiments were 
very just and right, but some queried whether the Author really thought as he 
spoke ; and reflecting how often this subject had been thought of by me, and 
appeared in various points of light, I was not willing to have my own sentiments 
confounded with or swallowed up by his (which I feared would be the case if 1 
did not write them down before I read his book). I therefore took a pen and 
wrote hastily those sentiments that arose on the subject, without any study or 
correction, regarding nothing but the knowledge of their having been the constant 
sentiments of my heart. I had no intention of showing them to any person, nay 
I don't remember that I intended keeping the paper when I had wrote it any 
longer than to answer the end, which induced me to write it, but being disappointed 
in not having the book, 1 laid this rough sketch* away. 

Ashamed of myself, yet ashamed of this Shame, wondering that others don't 
despise me, though I am sensible such a sentiment would be wrong in any, yet I 
confess that were 1 not taught by drinking the bitter cup myself, (the taste of it) 
I fear I should not think as I ought with regard to others in like circumstances. 
Prejudice I find in this as indeed in many other instances has too much influence 
on my mind, and indeed if it has on others the same as on mine, I know not a 
harder principle to overcome. 

Let those therefore labouring under any defects which themselves had no hand 
in procuring, act to all others, as tho' they were free from them, but continually 
take lessons of Humility from them. 

Let them remember what they like and dislike, and act accordingly to any 
under affliction, that others by observing it, may learn how to behave to them. 
This is their indispensable duty. Let them look around on their fellow creatures, 
and observing their afflictions and comparing them with their own (if they find on 
this view that they would not willingly change) let them with reverence thankful- 
ness, joy and admiration, adore that Mercy who has favoured them beyond their 
fellows, many of whom may be better than themselves ; by this means, murmuring 
would be banished the earth and consequently much misery with it, and in the 
room thereof, praise would ascend to God, and our hearts would be filled with 

" This sketch found among dear M. E's papers here follows ; the beginning seems to be wanting. (Note by J. E.) 


joy. Why should we that have misfortunes endeavour to bear them with the 
weight which others think they have that feel it not, when by the mercy of God, 
it is lighter to us that are used to it, by far than it appears to them. And I 
verily believe with regard to those outward misfortunes that makes us appear 
disagreeable in the eyes of the world (setting aside any that are attended with 
pain, or that prevent us from enjoying the comforts of life) almost the whole of 
their affliction is in thought. For my own part 'tis so with me, and of all the 
thoughts on this subject, these are the most afflicting, the reproach I think 
it brings on my friends, the dislike it must almost unavoidably I fear tincture their 
minds towards me with (I fear it would mine to another, did I not experience it 
myself.) And if I am mistaken in this fear which makes me ever jealous I shall 
relapse into sorrow for that I fear my friends must feel for me. 

These are the heads on which I feel most pain ; 1 feel none literally. 1 am 
not withheld of necessity from any real joy, therefore think I ought to be abund- 
antly thankful ; nay sometimes am almost ready to rejoice, as this affliction may 
have been a means to preserve me from many dangers, and perhaps from running 
into a way of life that might have been unprofitable and full of sorrows and dis- 
appointments, and I might longer have been dazzled with the false beauties of this 
life, which this eye salve of humility has partly enabled me to look steadily at, 
and perceive that all things which do not carry our thoughts beyond this life are 
vain, or rather that we are vain and foolish whenever we follow anything wherein 
we have not a view to the recompense of reward. I never yet found myself as 
I remember so discontented as to be willing to change my deformity of body for 
infirmity, lameness, sickness, pain, or any of the many various troubles my fellow 
creatures are afflicted with, except on account of the disagreeable thoughts before 
mentioned, but on those considerations would be glad to undergo many things to 
be delivered from it, if that were possible, almost anything but deformity of mind, 
which if I have not together with the other, I am sure I would not change the 
other for trouble on this head. I freely confess I believe my heart as susceptible 
of vanity as almost any person's, and though I have had but few occasions to 
observe how it stood affected to this deceiver, may own, whenever the opportunity 
offered, I found it very treacherous, and ready to combat with reason in order to 
gain admittance for the enemy, then have I found my seeming enemy to be my 
best friend and defence against my real ones. 

By seeing this in our own experience the two ways of taking every occur- 
rence, we have a view of the Mercy, Wisdom and Goodness of God to all the 
workmanship of his hands. Alas for me ! I see many excellent things, far, yea 
very far more than I practise. Mayst Thou that has created in me an understand- 
ing of the good, create in me a clean heart to will and to do of Thy own good 
pleasure, that 1 loving and fearing Thee, this with all other things may work 
together for my good, and let me bear and act respecting it in that manner which 
may be well pleasing in Thy sight. 




My woes which with the noontide of the day 

As in a torrent, overflowed my mind. 
And swept with rapid course my joys away. 

This was a tempest of a fearful kind. 

And every thought, by adverse passions tost 
Confused whirled, till all my peace was lost. 

Love, joy and hope, and every tender tye 
That binds the mind of man to social cares. 

Draws near and waits with trembling the reply, 

That melts our hearts, and calls forth all our tears. 

How stinted and inadequate their store. 
My griefs to manifest that pain me sore. 

That day and night I might my Uncle mourn 
Express my own, his love to me return. 

But now alas, my tears are quickly dried, 
Does then the sorrow in my heart subside. 

No ; days & nights & months & years shall 1 
If in this vale of tears so long I stay 

Remember him with many a bitter sigh, 

And may his bright example mark my way. 

Think on his doctrine, his ingenuous heart 
That with an humble greatness seldom found. 

His failings e'en to children could impart. 

Nor harboured there the pride that this could wound. 


His bounty emulate ; wide ope my door 

To all his friends, and learn from him to spread 

My board with plenty, to the good and poor, 

And rear the youth with learning and with bread. 

His house the strangers home is now no more, 
Nor are the naked clothed from his store. 

All, all, that knew thee will acknowledge this 
To clothe the naked, thou wast ne'er remiss. 

How shall my heart sufficiently be bowed 
When I reflect upon the great regard 

Familiar tenderness to me thou showed 

The many happy hours with thee I shared. 

How did our kindred souls in judgment join, 
Thy condescension levelled thine to mine. 

Thy tongue declares the thoughts I thought before, 
I hear with joy and am confirmed the more. 

Thou, in the full possession of thy strength, 
Of youth, of fortune, turned thy back on all. 

Nor stayed till age deprived thee of thy health, 
Or death surprised thee with a sudden call. 

Greatly disdaining all the scorn of man 
And with becoming fortitude withstood 

Thou singly 'gainst the tide that counter ran 

To heaven proved love beyond the ties of blood. 

This may I contemplate continually, 

That thou marked out the road for us to tread. 
May we thy footsteps follow faithfully 

That through the rugged path will safely lead. 

A rugged path, Life is by heaven decreed 
That we by faith and patience here, may gain 

From his all bounteous hand, the victor's meed 
Of endless joy and triumph over pain. 

TO CORNWALL IN 1759. (Seepage 68.) 

The first of the Eighth Month 1759, Eliztl' Johnson, my Brother and self set out 
on a journey to Cornwall, at 6, by way of the New Road, at the turning into which 
from Islington I was much pleased with the view of pleasant woody hills in front and to 
the right those of Highgate and Hampstead, the Vale, cattle and sheep feeding, with 
Pancras embosomed with trees. To the left hand London long stretched out and a very 
fine road before us about 4 miles. We passed through Hyde Park, Kensington, 
Hammersmith, Turnham Green, Brentford & Hounslow. From Hounslow is a very 
pleasant road, winding between high hedges and trees — on either side corn fields. Some 
plows were at work, of a particular construction having 2 small iron wheels in front — 
one larger than the other — which was drawn by 3 horses like a stage coach. We came 
by this road to Belfound & Stanes : at the Swan at Egham we dined. The house new 
furnished very neatly: good bread, butter & wine, but a leg of Lamb not sweet. 
* * * (They lodged at Bagshot, dined at Basingstoke and slept the second night at 
Sutton— thence through Stockbridge to Salisbury.) We dined at the 3 Lyons: the 
Warwickshire Militia is here and their uniform is red & green. From hence up a very 
steep hill over the Plain (? along White Sheet Hill) which lays very high & not level. 
We drank tea at the White Hart on the Plain. There are fine prospects from this road: 
to the right fine hollows, with villages & rising hills around : on the left a chain of hills 
with hollows covered with trees, furze & cattle. 

From the White Hart we continued over the plain to Shaftesbury, narrow streets — 
A grand appearance the Angel made from the outside, a very good dining room new 
built, but very dirty chambers : from the gallery up one pair of stairs we went into the 
churchyard. (I think the Angel must have stood where the Grosvenor Arms now stand.) 
Old crosses several in this town (v.'hich) lay on a hill. From two pretty walks leading 
different ways from the Churchyard are very fine prospects — a House & pleasant 
gardens behind it at the botom of the hill add much to the beauty of one, as the distant 
views do to the other. « * » w^g left this place late in the morning, passed over 
various hills and a very fine gravel Serpentine road, which was an agreeable view for a 
considerable way before us. We arrived at last at Henstread Ash where we were 
obliged to put up for the rain as well as to stay for James (the servant) who was sent 
to Hatspen with a message & ordered to bring the answer to us there. * • » James 
not coming & the rain continuing we got an old man as well to be our guide as to lead 
my brother's horse : whom we persuaded to ride in the chaise. 


(Then follows a long description of Hatspen — or Hadspen — House, the residence 
of Mr and Mrs \'ickris Dickenson, Mrs Dickenson being one of her most intimate 
friends. They proceed on their way in the afternoon, through Sommerton and get 
benighted before they reach Taunton, which "seems a large place, like a little City.") 
By mistake we went to the Castle instead of to the Fountain, but luckily although so late 
went first to look at the Chambers before we ordered Supper and finding them very 
ordinary, though the house on the outside had a good appearance & not much liking 
the people, the horses were taken out of the stables & we went to the Fountain where 
we found very good Chambers. • * * We left this place next morning & got to 
Columpton about 3 to dinner after losing our way on the Common * * » & having 
no time to spare we passed through Wellington. (It is curious to think of the 
possibility of losing their way between Taunton and Wellington, but the roads were 
then narrow and doubtless perplexing — the present coach road not having been yet 
made.) At Columpton the country people were bringing in their harvest on horses : 
there are no carts : from a pack-saddle proceeds on either side two thick pieces of wood 
down to the horses belly — then bends up higher than the back of the horse, forming a 
capacity of holding about a truss of hay each & more on the top & over the saddle. A 
horse thus loaded looks as if the hay was walking, they being almost covered. This 
way they carry household goods, liquor, and in short everything, only varying the 
crooks accordingly. For wine they have open baskets of the same shape & fastened as 
they are on either side the saddle : for barrels, wooden ones like a tub. In some 
narrow lanes we met droves of these horses loaden & found 'twas much better than 
meeting carts, as these were drove up a bank out of our way or turned back again 
which the other could not be. 

(Space prevents insertion of a long description of Exeter and of the journey across 
Dartmoor, where) were stones very plenteous, in some places piled up by Nature into 
craggy grottoes which rise like Monuments over this dreary plain which we quitted for 
a narrow lane — following which we descended a very steep hill — at the bottom stood 
Oakhampton (when they lodged and the next day dined at Lydford) which consists at 
present of a few old houses, many falling, having been formerly a large Town with 
walls — some remains of which may be discovered. * * » Scarce any village wa 
passed through so small & mean. We saw the castle which stands on a mount — it is an 
ancient square fortress, by the smallness scarcely deserves the name of a castle 
consisting only on the ground floor of a staircase, large room & on the left a large Dark, 
Deep, Dismal Dungeon from whence, underground, we were told a passage leads to the 
Bridge : upstairs are a Room in which are sometimes held Courts & two Chambers in 
one of which is a Chimney. (The diary breaks off after Lydford and, doubtless that 
evening they arrive at Liskeard.) 


No. II. 








The former part of these papers was devoted to the personal 
history of four generations of John Eliots between 1683 and 1830. 

The marriages of the second John Eliot in 1734 with xMariabella 
Farmborough Briggins, and of the third in 1762 with Mary Weston, 
brought into the family a large collection of papers, diaries, and records 
in family Bibles, which appear to be of sufficient interest to justify me 
in trying to rescue them from the oblivion in which they have been 
lying — some of them for more than two centuries. 

These records divide themselves naturally into three periods. First ; 
that of the terrible persecution to which the Quakers were subjected 
under the Commonwealth and the Stuarts. 

Secondly : the peaceful and prosperous days of Queen Anne and 
George I. when they were thankfully taking their place as a loyal and 
useful part of the nation, and (as they attended closely to their various 
branches of business and lived very simple lives) were unavoidably 
growing rich : and a third period about the middle of the XVIII 
century when our interests are carried across the Atlantic and we 
obtain a glimpse of the thriving American Colonies from the borders of 
Canada to South Carolina and Georgia. 

The mass of material is great, and a large portion is of a nature 
so trivial as to have lost interest after all these years — it has therefore 
not been easy to make a selection ; but I hope that my readers will find 
something to repay them in the very simplicitv of the records of the 
inner life of days of moment in English History, while, for the 


numerous descendants of those whose daily hfe is thus laid bare, there 
cannot fail to be some instruction in realizing the stork from which 
they have sprung. 

I have to acknowledge with great gratitude the invaluable assistance 
of my Cousin, Lady Fry, who undertook the formidable task of 
deciphering and making extracts from the three closely written volumes 
of Peter Briggins' Diary, 1 703 — 1716. Without this help it would 
have been almost impossible to complete the task which I had 

E. H., Askmore, 1894. 

C O N T H N T S 







The Bleakes (or Bleekes) of Warminster, 1627 - 1 
The Persecution of the Quakers — Mariabella Parm- 

borough - 3 
„ „ „ „ M. Farmborough's 

Papers - 1 1 
„ ,. „ ,, The Briggins 

Family - 15 

Two Letters from George Fox - - - - 21 

More about the Briggins Family - - - - 23 
A London Merchant of Queen Anne's time — Peter 

i^riggins 25 

Peter Briggins' Diary, 1703-5 ----- 29 

» 1706-8 39 

„ 1711-12 .... 45 

„ 1712, "The Solemn Affirmation" 49 

1 7 12-13, The Peace of Utrecht 53 

1714, The Death of Queen Anne 57 

1715, The Pretender - - 61 

17 15, The Great Frost - - 65 

17 16, The End of the Diary - 67 

Peter Briggins' Daughters 71 

Family Letters and Papers, 1 709, &c. - - - 73 

The Weston and Musgrave Families - - - 79 
Mary Weston — A "Ministering Friend" of the XVIII 

Century - - 85 

Mary Weston's Journals, 1712, &c. - - - - 89 

Chapter PAGE 

xxii. Mary Weston's American Journals, 1750, New England 93 
xxiii. ,, ,, ,, „ 1750-1, Southern 

States - - 10 1 

xxiv. ,, „ „ ,, I75i> Connecticut 107 

XXV. Mary Weston's Last Days - - - - - 113 

Appendix A : The Eliot Pedigrees 115 

„ B: "Old" and "New" Styles of Calendar - - 121 

„ C: The " Briggins Book" of Travels in Asia - - 123 

„ D : Itinerary of Mary Weston's Southern Journey - 127 


The marriage of John EHot (ii) with Mariabella Farmborough Briggins 
in 1734 introduces us to a collection of letters, journals and memoranda 
of no small interest, especially as bearing on the history of the Society 
of Friends from the days of the original institution of that Body. 

We cannot do better than trace the history in the order suggested by 
the names of Mariabella Farmborough Briggins, beginning with the 
curious name Mariabella, which has been handed down through eight 
generations to the present time.* 

From the Parish Registers of Warminster, Wilts, we find that in 1626 
William Bleake or Bleeke married Elizabeth Vickers, and on the 1 2th 
of January, 1627, is the entry of the baptism of their daughter. But 
here comes in a curious difficulty. The Christian nam.e of the child is 
blotted so that the latter portion is indistinct, and the part that can be 
clearly seen is M i r a b - - . The Rector of Trowbridge, who kindly 
searched the register for me, reads the name as " Mirabel," whereas the 
Vicar of Warminster, who supplied a certified copy of the entry, gives 

* I. Mariabella Bleake, b. 1627. Married Thomas Farmborough. 

2. Mariabella Farmborough, daughter of the above, b. 1665. Married Peter Briggins. 

3. Mariabella Farmborough Briggins, daughter of the above, b. 1708. Married John Eliot. 

4. Mariabella Eliot, b. 1736, daughter of the above, died unmarried. 

5. Mariabella Eliot, b. 1769, niece of the above. Married Luke Howard. 

6. Mariabella Howard, b. 1805, daughter of the above, died in infancy. 

( Mariabella Hodgkin, b. 1833 ( nieces of the ( Married the Rt. Honble. Sir E. Fry. 
'■ ) Mariabella Howard, b. 1840 / above \ Married Howard Lloyd. 
r Mariabella Fry, daughter of the above M. Fry. 
J Mariabella Howard. 
■ 1 Mariabella Lloyd, daughter of the above M. Lloyd. 
{ Mariabella Eliot Harison, n^e Hodgkin, niece of the above M. Fry. 


2 ELIOT PAPERS 1627— 1661 

it as " Mirabble," sending therewith a letter explaining that it 77iay be 
Mirabel* A careful examination of the registers failed to disclose any 
earlier entry of an ancestress which could throw light on the name. 
Now there is not the smallest doubt that in after life this daughter of 
William Bleake was known as Marabel, Maribellah, Mariabell or Mariabella 
(the details of spelling were in those days not much attended to even in 
proper names) but never as Mirabel. Is it hkely that Mirabel would 
become changed into Mariabella, or is it not rather to be supposed that 
the clergyman, being asked to christen a child by a name which he had 
never heard, (Mariabella), failed to catch the sound exactly, and entered 
in the Register the nearest equivalent which suggested itself? The 
mystery of the appearance of the name Mariabella — evidently Italian or 
Spanish in its origin — in a quiet English family, remains therefore 

The family of the Bleekes or Bleecks still flourishes at Warminster, 
and its present representative — a wealthy Solicitor — is unable to help in 
the matter, as his records of the fiimily go no further back than 1 695, 
and the name of Mariabella seems to have died out in the direct line 
before that time. 

To return to Mariabella Bleake. She married — probably in 166 1 or 
1662 — Thomas Farmborough, "cane chair maker" "living at the sine 
of y'= Chaire in Poules Yard Londun " " Citizen and freeman of y^ Bakers' 
Compan}^" and they had two children, Thomas, a surgeon who died 
without issue in 1723, and Mariabella, of whom we shall hear later. I 
have a pocket French Testament belonging to one of these Thomas 
Farmboroughs. It bears the inscription " Thomas Farmborough, his 
booke, 1678." 

We give the account of the life of this first Mariabella which is pre- 
served in the family Bible of her son-in-law Peter Briggins — or, to 
describe this treasury of family history in its own words, " Peter and 
Marriabella Briggins' Bible." (To illustrate the varieties of spelling in- 
dulged in, we may note that the name is spelt on the inside of the cover 
with two R's and two L's and at the foot of the title page with one R 
and one L.) 

Vicar's mistake evidently arose from not being accustomed to tlie peculiar long e of that date 
:rv much like a b. 





" She was convinced of the Blessed Truth about y"^ year 1682, though 
' for many years before she was for hearing such that did speak and 
declare through their own experience what y^ Lord had done for them 
■ and in them &c. and about those times those that would not come & 
conforme to 3"^ publick way of worship &c. fines & imprisonment were 
the portion of those that met togeather to waite on y'= Lord in those 
perilous times. And mahshious informers was incouraged. And she, 
soon after her convincement did suffer divers imprisonments in Nugate 
at BristoU &c. & in Londun many months & was a prisoner in Nugate 
in Londun at y^ same time my Father was a prisoner there, (She, I 
remember lay in a little naisty place they called y'^ Lady's hole, where 
condemned persons lay.) in y^ year 1684. 

" She was a tender & servisable woman and was instrmentall in y* 
hand of y<= Lord by his testimony he gave her to bear for his name and 
Truth and I am well satisfied was very servisable to turne many from 
darkness to light : and tho' in hir old age (by y^ hardships she met 
with in prisons &c.) she was afflicted with lameness, by reason whereof 
she used pritty much to be confined at home, yet she would goe as 


"often as possiable hir health would let hir (and indeed I have tho't 
" beyond her naturall strength) she prity constantly attended y'= womens 
" meeting y* takes care of y^ poor & was one of our most servisablest 
" & she with Mary Elson used to goe & visit y^ Sick &c &. to Meetings 
" tho' it was with crutches. Yet it pleased y^ Lord miraculously to give 
" her strength tho' near 80 years of age, anew, so that she walked with- 
" out hir crutches to Meetings &c untill hir last illness. She lived an 
"inocent life & was servisable to all & made a good end & used to 
" speak in hir Illness of hir Assurance of hir well-being & was in a 
" resigned state to y^ Lord's will — for hir to live was Christ and to dye 
" would be gaine. She laid down hir head in peace and I doubt not 
" but y' she is entered into everlasting rest. She departed this life y'= 
"3rd of 1st month 1708 in y= 83 (should be 82nd?) year of hir age & 
" was buried from Bull & Mo. Meeting, y^ 6th of y« 1st mo. & I and my 
"4 elder children was there. There was a good meeting and Ann 
" Freame spoak y' she had heard our Mother say y' since she was con- 
" vinced of y= blessed truth she had never acted directly contrary there- 
" unto but y* she had served y^ Lord faithfully in hir generation." 

In Besse's " Suflferings of the Quakers " we find the following notice 
of Mariabella Farmborough. (Vol. I. p. 484) 

1686. " The storm had continued many years with little Intermission 
" and the courage and Constancy of those who passed through it was 
" very remarkable, particularly those who frequently exposed themselves 
" at the hazard of their Estates, Liberties and Lives, for the sake of the 
" publick Testimony to the Truth by preaching in the AssembHes for 
" Worship at London esteeming no Worldly Interest too near or dear 
" to part with that they might be found in the faithful Discharge of their 
" Duty in that Respect. Wherefore in Justice to their Memory we 
" shall close this year with a List of the Names of such of them both 
" Men & Women as at present occur to our Notice viz — " 

Then follows a list of names, first of Men and then of Women. 
Among the latter is that of Mariabella Farmborough. 

" These Women were of excellent Endowments, adorned with all 
" the Virtues of that Sex, and very serviceable to the Church in the 
" Office of the Ministry, for which they were peculiarly gifted, being 
"esteemed by their Brethren as Fellowhelpers in the Work of the 


" Gospel of Christ and not unlike the Deaconesses in the first Ages of 
" Christianity." 

(Mentions of Mariabella Farmborough's imprisonments and persecu- 
tions appear on pages 457, 462 and 473. Of Thomas Farmborough's 
on pages 445 and 483.) 

The following letter addressed to her in 1684 throws a strange light 
on the sufferings of the early Quakers and on the prison system of 
those days. 

" Bristoll y'^ 3d of y« 3d mo. 1684. 
" Maribellah Farmbery 

" My deare ffriend my soule salutes thee in the truth & in 
" the sense that thou art a fellow feler with the suffering saints &. poor 
" of the flock. I am wilUng to acquaint thee that they are now in great 
" suffering by reason of the cruelty of the Jaylor, for the Jaylor have 
" demanded money by the weake heare at Newgate from our fTriends at 
" Bridewell & becaus they could not yeld to his demands he have 
" yesterday fetched our ffriends from Bridewell to Newgate where the 
" poor is thronged together in Poules them (sic) which stands for a fre 
" Prison &. a great part of y™ sat up last night and there is not rome 
" (room) enough today to put their beds on (one) by another in that 
" sad place we have made rome* in the Womens Ward for as many as 
" we cann but he have threatened us sevrall times to som of our ffriends 
" that y^ Womans ward shall not goe for a fre prison & that he will 
" turn us out if we would not pay him, the reason of my sending to thee 
" is that if it may Posable be that the King might know of this cruell 
" usage & upon what account this oppression is laid so havily upon the 
" poor not only to take y" into a place that is not convenient for 
" Women but also have taken y"" from their Imployment whereby they 
" should get their bred which goes very hard to the honest harted that 
" is willing to labour with their hands if they could have a place. I 
" could be glad that a short account might have beene at the Lower end 
" of my letter to the King if the letter is not gon that if there had been 
" any bowels of marcy he might order us to have Rome enough in the 
" Frissons for us to work in & that y*^ Jaylors may not so much oppres 

* Shakspere m.ikes a pun on tlie similarity of tlie pronunciation of Rome and room : I have heard an 
old man habitually pronounce " dome " .is " doom " and " loam " as " loom." 


' the poor but that they maj' have fre Prisson if they must be Prissoners 
' for now it is like unto faraoh who would make the People to make 
' brick without straw for to put us into Prison & then to oppres us if 
' we will not pay to two Jaylors for imprisonment. 

" Deare ffriend that which I feared is true com to pas that this Jaylor 
' would deserve some more with his flattery than the other* did with his 
' Roughnes for he have often pretended great kindnes to y'" and told y"^ 
' that he would leave it to y™ whether it was not reason & equity seeing 
'he was a pore man &. had y'= place gave to him by y*^ SherrfTs (?) to get 
' mony that he should be payd for y™ at Bridewell & we in the Womans 
' ward &. also tould them severall times that he would fetch them from 
' Bridewell if they did not pay him mony according to his desire & then 
' when friends did tell me of it I tould them that they should have dealt 
' plainly with him because I was satisfied that he did try them to see 
' how they would beare with this abusive carage that is now brought to 
' pass & I tould ffriends that as they did meane to stand cleare they 
' should have been plaine with him that we could not bare to se one a 
' nother abused but they thought least words was best & thought he 
' would not have proved as bad as he thretened & was apt to think that 
' friends at Bridewell was to (too) scrupellous in that thay would not 
' yeald to pay him mony seing the mitemous (mittemus) was made to 
' Newgat but now the weight of the sufferings lyes very heavy upon 
' som I cann truly say that it lys heavier upon me than my own suffer- 
' ing & my prayer to god is that he may arise for the deliverance of his 
' oppressed people & desires thy Prayers may be in the earnest breath- 
' ings of thy heart unto the Lord for us that we may stand faithfuU to 
' god to the end ever I remain thy sister in the truth 

" Dorcas Dole 
" Remember my love to ftriends in severall " 
Endorsed " Bristow suferings — for the Meeting of suferings." 
What a touching picture of the days in which the " Meeting for 
Sufferings "t of the Society of Friends was a standing Committee to 
receive reports of the persecutions to which their members throughout 
the country were exposed and to consider means for their rehef — and 

Probably " tlie other" is Isaac Dennis, who died in 1683. (See p. 8.) 
t The " Meeting for sufferings " still exists as a business committee of the Society though it is long 
since they had any " sufferings " to deal with. 

1684 — l682 ELIOT PAPERS 7 

what a strange revelation of prison life before John Howard and Elizabeth 
Fry* arose in their respective generations to bring the strong light of 
public opinion and Christian charity to bear upon the system. We may 
remember that even felons in Newgate (London) were expected to pay 
the Jailor for their irons if they wished to be treated with reasonable 

The persecutions in Bristol were so violent and so frequent that I 
was for a time at a loss to give this most interesting letter its proper 
date — thinking at first that it belonged to the furious outbreak of cruelty 
in 1664 when John Knight was Mayor, in which several persons of the 
name of Dole were imprisoned. But further investigation shows that 
it clearly belongs to 1682-4. This persecution is mentioned in Besse 
(Vol. I. chap. 4) but fuller details are given in a rare pamphlet called 
" A Narrative of the Cruelties and Abuses acted by Isaac Dennis, Keeper, 
" his Wife & Servant in the prison of Newgate in the City of Bristol — 
" upon the people of the Lord, in scorn called Quakers who were there 
" committed for the exercise of their consciences towards God. With 
"an Account of the eminent Judgments of God upon Him and his End. 
" Published for a Warning to others, by some of those People who were 
" sufferers under Him." and at the end " Published by the sufferers 
" themselves, from Newgate Prison in Bristol, the 6th of 12th Month 
■' 1684." (?the last numeral is not very clear.) This most curious and 
interesting record shows that Bunyan's giants were gentle in the treat- 
ment of their prisoners compared to the actual gaolers of the day.f We 
find therein that in "the loth of the loth Month 1682 Mariabella 
" Fanenborow (clearly a misprint for Farmborow) paying for her lodging 
" the day above recited, demanded a free Prison, as being her right ; 
" whereupon she was denyed to come into the room among other 
" Friends and going into the place called the Women's Ward, the 
" Keeper spake to Joan Whitechurch & Mary Morgan two condemned 
" Fellons To 25cat l^cc out of tl)c ilooni and throtD tiotun Ijcr 23clJi6ftcaD 
"nnD tDa.£^l^ Ijcr out" calling her opprobrious names. " After a day or 
" two, under pretence she must go to the Toulsy, had her forth of the 
" prison door & forced her to Bridewell with two Friends more, belching 

* John Howard, b, 1726, d. 1790. E. Fry, b. 1780, d. 1845. 

t We frequently read of tlie prisoners being dragged about by their hair and thrown down stairs — 
women violently kicked and the like. 


" out some of tji^s foam at u0 jsfaping * i$c l^ab a great manp f ooljff to 
"toorh foe i^im anD tljcrcforc l)C tDOUlD Ucinfe i§ach.' Also advising 
" the keeper of Bridewell to keep Friends close as he did here, & then 
" he might get mony as he did : telling him That the Quakers yielded 
" him mony when he came & shaked his purse." The expression about 
fools working for him appears to have been a taunt at the submissive- 
ness of the Quakers in paying him money. The same matter is clearly 
alluded to in Dorcas Dole's letter. 

Dorcas Dole was a prominent Quakeress of Bristol and a fellow 
prisoner of Mariabella Farmborough. It is evident from her letter that 
the latter was released first — (perhaps on account of her being a stranger 
in the City) and was using her influence in London to obtain some 
mitigation of the sufTerings of those still left in gaol. 

It is pleasant to know that Dorcas Dole lived for many years after- 
wards — for on the 28th September, 1705, we find in Peter Briggins' 
Diary that " at Bull & Mouth Meeting D. Dole sp'' concerning y' y<= Ld. 
" will be with us if we are not wanting to ourselves — he will not be 
" wanting to us." 

The end of this cruel man Dennis was very sad. In 1683 he was 
taken ill, and for a time " by drinking and vain company endeavoured to 
"get ease of his troubled Conscience, and while the strength of the 
" liquor was in him by day he would seem as if nothing were amiss, but 
" at night he was in a Woeful Agony & would shake & tremble & sweat 
" cold sweats. Then would he desire us (his prisoners) to ^rap fot 

" l^im and Wi?^ Ijc Ijati iicbcc jsccn tl)e SnjS'it'f of tl)c <iBaoI saying 3lt 
" tjati unDonc Ijini. He asked several of us to jporgttc Ijim for toljat Ijc 
" IjaJJ Done : to which we answered that he should ask forgiveness of 
" God for we did forgive him : but yet still his anguish and Torment 
" Increased : so that it was feared he would be distracted, but then 
" Doctors were sent for and. Come, caused him to be let Blood, but he 

"told them ^0 ^(jp^ich iuoulD to ^hti 4Booli, {jijef 2Distntiper being 
" anotljet tljing, anb tljat no a^an could bo Ijim aBoob, tji^ef SDap toa^ 
" OPter anb tfjerc toaisi no l)opc of Sl^ercp from <Dob for Ijini, and seeing 

" him in this WofuU Condition, our hearts did pity him and desired, if 
" the will of the Lord was so he might find a place of Repentance : and 
" some of us had Opportunity to speak with him : and we found that he 
" had his Senses and Understanding well, and we used such Arguments 


" as in our Christian tenderness we thought best to perswade him out 
"of his Hardness and unbeHef: one of us said to him We hoped his 
" day was not over because he had a Sense of his Condition ; to which 
" he answered ' ^j tljiWH pou foc poiir gooD Ijojjc, but Si lia^f "0 jfaitl) 
" to briictoC ', and further said * fciii'^ 10 tSlC gift Of 4Bt3Hi \* so nothing 
" would enter him but that his day was over and there was no Mercy 
" for him, and in this Miserable Estate he continued without any altera- 
" tion as we understood until the 30th of the 9th Month 1683 about the 
" 4th hour of the morning ended his Miserable Life. Witness C. 
" Harford, C. Jones, J. Curling, Paul Moon "... 

" This is not made Publick, the Lord knows, out of any Revenge to 
" the Persons Concerned but as a warning to all : neither is it of any 
" self boasting, as though by our own ability we had undergone all these 
" Cruelties inflicted on us, but to him that Lives for evermore do we 
"ascribe the G lor}', by whose Power alone we have been supported: 
"and if through this Example of God's Judgments on this man it shall 
" stop any from their Evil Courses we have our End." A Postscript 
records that in the persecutions under Queen Mary, prisoners in Gaol 
had liberty to pray, preach and exhort fellow-prisoners and such as came 
to see them, whereas the Quakers were not allowed to sit together in 
the prison to worship God, nor to see one another when sick and near 
to death nor to work to get their bread " or something towards (O 
" Horrid Cruelty) nor suffered to have their Victuals brought to them &.c 
" &.C " (On one occasion some of the Quaker prisoners were locked 
up by Dennis' wife on the roof where they could only get their food by 
drawing it up with a line — " otherwise they must have fasted.") 

* The introduction of bl.ick-letter in these extracts follows the prii 
Roman type, the black-letter being introduced for emphatic passages. 




Our next paper is endorsed in Peter Briggins" handwriting " Papers & 
" Epistles of Mother Marabel Farmboroughs," and although not dated, 
evidently belongs to the same period. It is too long to be copied in 
full, but a few extracts will give the bearing of it. 

" Wee doe intreat y^ Justices of Peace, not to take any wittness on 
" Informacon from Informers against us, to convict us untill they here 
" us together face to face and we doe beheve y' will ease you of a great 
" dele of trouble in your Courts & Sessions for you se many of the 
" Informers have sworne falsely against us to have bin att a meeting 
" when some of us y"^ same time have bin in the Countrey & others have 
" not bin at a Meeting y' day as has bin proved before j'our faces in open 
" Court : w<='' if we & our Accusers were brought face to face before a 
"Justice of peace before conviction many of our cases would then end 
" & never trouble your Courts nor us neither & therefore we intreat 
" you to read these Scriptures as follow & you may see w' y'= Law of 
" God & y^ Roman Laws say in the behalf of our case." 

Reference is then made at some length to John VII. 45-51. Deut. 
XVII 5-8 and XIX, 15-17. Proverbs IX, 5,7. Kings III, 16. Exodus 
XXII, 9. Leviticus XXII, 22. Matthew XXVI, 59-61. Luke XXIII, 
1-26. Acts XXII, 30, and XXIII, 1-24. Acts XXIII, 35. Acts 
XXIV. Acts XXV (passim). Acts VI, 7, &.C., and the appeal closes 
as follows : — 


" & therefore we doe intreat you to consider us in these things and let 
" not convictions be made upon us behind our backs by such as we 
" know not what they be nor who they are but let their convictions be 
" face to face that we may be heard before we are convicted according 
" to y'= Law of God and y*^ Roman Law which is but reason & tis 
" commonly said that the Laws of y'= Land were grounded upon y^ Law 
" of God's Scriptures & Reason. But we doe think it very hard that 
" severall Justices of y'^ peace should make so many convictions behind 
" our backs — without heareing us & our accusers and witnesses face to 
" face w'' if they did heare us face to face we doe beheve it would ease 
"y^ Sessions of a great deale of trouble And prevent very many false 
" swearers against us as hath bin proved in the Court w'='' hath put us to 
" a great deal of trouble & charges in the tryall of our Appeals and when 
" they have been Cast & proved forsworne we have had noe remedy 
" against them as yet but they goe on still, which if we were but heard 
" before Conviction might prevent many false oaths & the trouble at 
" your Sessions & a great deal of charges we are put unto. So we shall 
" leave these things to your weighty consideration & desire that the 
" Lord may give you wisdome & understanding to Judge of our suffering 
" case 

" From y^ people called Quakers " 

It is difficult in the present day to conceive a condition of EngHsh 
law under which such proceedings could take place, as are here objected 
to. But in spite of the Great Charter and in spite of the then recent 
Statute of Habeas Corpus (passed in 1679) which reaffirmed the prin- 
ciple that no Subject could be kept in prison without trial, it is evident 
that when this Protest was drawn up, the whole system of trial and 
imprisonment was in a very ill-defined condition and left a wide door 
open for grievous injustice. 

In a Petition to the King and Parliament about 1685* we find a Hst 
of the Statutes under which the Quakers were then chiefly suffering. 
One of them dates back to the reign of Henry VIII, five to that of 
Elizabeth, one to the time of James I, and three to that of Charles II. 

* Besse's "Sufferings," Vol. I., xl. xli. The subject of the various Laws under which the Quakers 
were persecuted will be found fully treated in an Article in the Encyclopedia Britannica on " Quakers," by 
the Rt. Hon. Sir Edward Fry. 


The period of persecution lasted not quite 40 years, beginning in 
1649, when George Fox was imprisoned at Nottingham, or in 1650, 
when his followers were first called (in scorn) Quakers, till the first 
year of WiUiam and Mary, when the penal laws were so modified that 
Hberty of worship was practically secured to them. 

The earher persecutions were chiefly under Acts directed against the 
Papists, and especially those which required that Oaths of Allegiance, &c. 
should beadministered toall suspected persons. The Quakers were always 
perfectly loyal and inoff"ensive citizens, but their consciences prevented 
their taking an Oath of any kind, hence they came under the penalties 
intended for those who were plotting against the King and Constitution. 
Afterwards Acts were passed specially directed against their practices, 
both in the matter of refusing Judicial Oaths and assembling in Con- 
venticles. The earlier Conventicle Act includes the penalty of Trans- 
portation to His Majesty's foreign plantations for persistent offenders. 

Cromwell professed to establish liberty of conscience, but the Quakers 
were little better offi as they were punished for Sabbath breaking because 
they went some distance to their Meetings, and were accused of break- 
ing the Peace by preaching — they were even publicly whipped as 
vagrants by the orders of some of the Justices of the Peace. 

In Charles the Second's time fresh Acts were passed against them, 
but, as these had no effect, that Monarch in 1670 issued a Declaration 
suspending all these penal Acts, and for a time there was a lull in the 
storm. But the persecuting spirit got the upper hand again, and in 
1673 he withdrew this Declaration, and the miserable trade of the 
" Informer " revived with full vigour. 

We learn from the Petition already referred to that the most serious 
sufferings at that time were from imprisonments under Writs " de Excom- 
" municato Capiendo " and Judgments of Praemunire, both of which pro- 
cesses of law were far older than the Reformation, and the latter was 
originally specially directed to suppress popish intrigues against the Royal 
power, — dating back to the days of Richard II or earlier — a relic of the 
struggle for liberty from the dictation of Rome which was waged for 
centuries before the final rupture. Besides these we read of " Fines 
said to be due to the King " ; and if we wish to realize the injustice 
which could be habitually inflicted even in our own days under this 


head we may remember the state of things which Dickens exposed in 
" Little Dorritt." 

It is curious to recall that the Conventicle Act, in the form modified 
b}^ I William and Mary continued in force until the present century. I 
remember hearing mv Father say that after his marriage (1823) he and 
his neighbours had to exercise great care in the meetings of the local 
" Book Society '"* to avoid contravening the law bv meeting with closed 

* The mention of the " Book Society " recalls the useful Institution which formerly flourished in every 
Town or large Village until " iMudie's Library " superseded it. All the interesting books of the day were 
purchased by subscription and then circulated among the .Members. 




On the 29th of October, 1689, Mariabella, only daughter of Thomas 
and Mariabella Farmborough, was married, at the Bull and Mouth Meet- 
ing, to Peter Briggins of Bartholomew Close. 

We must therefore now take up the story of the Briggins family, for 
which there are abundant materials, in Diaries and Memoranda, and, 
especially, in family Bibles. The Briggins flimily were distinguished 
for their beautifully clear old fashioned handwriting and for their ex- 
cellent habit of keeping copious records of all important family events. 

A pedigree, to be found in the usual place, between the Apocrypha 
and the New Testament, traces their descent from William Briggins, 
of Hanslop, in Buckinghamshire, who was born about 1600 and died 
about 1670. I should recommend the reader to refer to the tabular 
form in which the family is given in the Appendix, Table 2, page 116. 

Having this table before us to keep clear the identity of the various 
Williams and Peters, we may try to trace the history of some of their 
lives. It is a pleasant study — of pious lives and holy deaths. 

And first we must turn to the large family Bible of Peter and 
Mariabella Briggins, in which we find lengthy accounts of William 
Briggins II, his wife Susanna and their son Joseph, from which we 
extract the following : — 

" My Father William Briggins married my Mother Susanna in Y year 
" 1656 and had liy hir 4 sonns & a daughter. (She died 1668) My s'' 


' Father about y*^ year 1670 married an ainchant woman near 60 years 
' of age. He as also my own Mother used to goe to Disenting Meet- 
' ings & about y' time was Laws made to prosecute those y' frequented 
' Rehgious Meetings & y"^ Informers coming y^ person y* preacht sHpt 
'' away by a private door & my father made his escape as others did but 
'' he thought at that time to goe to y^ Quakers Meeting at Gracious 
' Street & see how it faired with them & he got under y'= womens 
' gallery in a corner that he might not be seen. At that time William 
' Baily was a declaring &. after a little time came the Mob & Informer 
' with a band of Soulders he expected the preacher would have made 
'his escape but to his surprize they rushed into the Meeting and 
' William stood still preaching untill they hawled him away he also 
' spoake as they had him away And when he was gone an Other friend 
' stood up and declared also They took him away &c. And at that 

■ time he was convinced that this was y^ Truth and that they knew y' 
' That was worth sufering for which boare them up above & over there 
'sufferings. And between y' time & the year 1685 he met with grate 
' Tryalls & Sufferings for his Peaceable going to Meetings to waite on 
' the Lord and was twise committed Prisoner to Wood Street Counter 
' & removed from thence to Nugate where in such place he continued 
' in the former weeks and in the latter many months besides he had his 
' goods taken away on account of an unknown Preacher & sufferings 

■ might have continued much longer but y* King Charles Dyeing King 
■James came to the Crown he put out a Proclemation of Pardon & the 
' Prison doors was opened & he with many others were discharged 

■ (Though it was thought King James was underneath the chief Auther 
• Qf ye gd Persecution) In those days of Tryall it was so ordered that 

■ y^ Citty Trained band Soulders were apointed to goe out in Armes 
'every 7th Day in y^ Afternoon & take possession of all Meeting 
' Houses. We met in y^ Street near our meeting doors and when 
' Friends opened their mouths by way of Testimony they would hawle 
' them into y'= Meeting or into y^ Exchange where a guard was kept and 

■ at noon or evening they were usually had before a Magistrate who 
' commonly fined them or sent them to prison. My Father and I was 

■ taken away out of the hither Court next Lumber Street (Lombard 
' Street) with severall other friends & had before S'' John Peake who 

■ committed my Father to prison but I being young (tho' tall of my age) 


"after detaining me severall hours they let me goe home. But by 
" reason of my Father's much and close confinement in Nugate &c he 
" was much Impared in his health, he grew weakly till the time he 
"sickened as follows — on the 23rd of 5 mo. 1688." 

Then follows the account of how he was taken ill — " next morning we 
" sent for a Doctor and Apothecary and they thought good (he having 
"a desire to be bleeded) to let him blood in y'^ Arme &. I reckon they 
" tooke away about 16 oz. of blood which was looked upon to be pritty 
" good." After which operation he, not unnaturally, was " very faint and 
" extreme sick and frequently had those cold clammy sweats yet still the 
" Lord preserved him thro' his greate goodness in his right senses but 
" though his pains were very great yet his eye was to y"^ Lord & often 
" would say y* y^ Lord had been good to him from his youth up unto 
" that day and praised y"^ Lord y' he had bin pleased to reveal y^ know- 
" ledge of his Son y^ Lord Jesus Christ unto him " — followed by much 
good advice to his sons to avoid covetousness and " to keep above & 
"out of y'= many Incumberances of this world, to mind the poore & 
" needy who hath none to help them but the Lord & that we minister of 
" an abundance the Lord mav have made us stewards of to help them 
"in their necessities." To be contented in all circumstances "as he 
" said he had been many a time in Prison & out of Prison, in sickness 
" &. in health " — and the like, with many beautiful expressions of faith 
and hope. And at last " on the 27th of 5 mo. 1688 he lying very still 
" departed this Hfe & layed down his head in a great deal of peace & 
" comfort and an assurance of his eternal well-being for ever." 

And so this pious and patient soul passed away less than five months 
before England, with a stupendous sigh of relief, bade a long farewell to 
the Stuarts : and the days of actual persecution were, for the Quakers, 
past for ever — but it was in these days of persecution that the Society 
was the most numerous and the most flourishing. In the account given 
above of William Briggins' reasons for joining the Society in peference 
to other Dissenting bodies, we get a ghmpse of the causes which drew 
earnest men to a sect the members of which never flinched from suffer- 
ing on account of its principles. 

In Besse's " Sufferings of the Quakers," Vol. I, page 465, will be 
found a detailed account of the trial of William Briggins with fifteen 


Others for being "at White Hart Court in Lombard St. with force and 
" arms routously, tumultuously and unlawfully assembled to the Breach 
" of the Peace &c and under colour and pretence of religious exercise 
"in other manner than according to the Liturgy &. Practice of the 
" Church of England." 

It is well worth reading as a most extraordinary travesty of justice — 
quite in accordance with the pattern set by Jeffreys, then in the height 
of his power. It is almost needless to say that all the charges of " force 
"of arms," ''rout" and the hke entirely fell through, in fact they were 
not supported by a tittle of evidence — all the witnesses could say was 
that " they found them assembled, and they neither said nor did any- 
" thing." Of course they were convicted and imprisoned — in those 
evil daj's the question of evidence was a detail far too small to be con- 

(" Routously " must not be confused with " riotously." A " Rout " is 
a separate offence meaning an assembly which might become " riotous," 
see Steven's Commentaries Book VI Chap. x. Sec. v.) 

On a torn scrap of paper I find the following record of the sort of 
petty persecution short of imprisonment to which the Quakers were 
subjected. I suppose it was the receipt given by the Constable on 
making the distraint. 

" Strayned (distrained) from Wm. Brigins Tobacconest in Bartholo- 
" mew Close London on y'= 7th day of July 1683: 3 firkins of hony 
" Contayning Nett 2. 1. 25 at 42s p. cwt. compto 5.3. lo by a Warrent 
" granted from James Edwards &: Henry Tults : Justices for being at a 
" Metting at Gracious Stt. on y^ 1st instant. Jo. Jess Constable George 
" Yard & Jos. Morison Informer Lumber Street." 

" Richard Child , 
" Mary Crew ' 

I possess a small 8vo. volume of about 320 pages with the title 
"William Briggins. His Book Feb. 28. 167 1 " which would be of in- 
terest to careful students of the Quakerism of the period of the perse- 
cution, for W. B. has carefully copied therein, in exquisite handwriting, 
a large collection of discourses and (apparently) pamphlets setting forth 
the views of the Friends on various religious questions. 



The titles of some of them are as follows : — 

Concerning Election and Reprobation. 

The travile of the Bowels of Sion. 

The Root of Poppery struck at. 

Some Questions to y'= Prophessors. 

Some Queries to y<= Professors to provock y™. 

Ye Epistle of Agbarus to our Savior. 

Ye Epistle of Christ to Agbarus. 

Also som thing added in y^ syrian tongue. 

Several Scriptures corrupted by y'^ Tr. (translators) 

Ye Difference betwixt y'' old & new translation. 

Some Queries for y^ Prophessors y' stumble. 

Concerning false Prophets & Antichrist. 

Concerning Original Sin. 

Seven Thunders. 

A Word from y'^ Lord to y<= Priests of England in generall y' teach 
for hire. 

It is rather curious to notice that the " Authorized Version " which 
we regard with so much admiration, was far from giving entire satis- 
faction when it came out, and William Briggins cites numerous passages 
in which he prefers the older translation, placing the two side by side. 


It is probably through this faithful Confessor that we have handed 
down to us two letters of George Fox himself, the Founder of the 
Quakers, which do not appear in his published epistles and are worth 
reproducing in full. The J.S. and J.W. against whom this rather 
mystical effusion is directed appear to have been John Story and 
John Wilkinson, who gave great trouble to the early Quakers by 
refusing to conform to the good order of the Society. 

" Dear friends & Brethren 

As I was at prayer in my chamber upon y^ 23"^ of y« 12 mo. 
" 78. And making Intercession to y^ Lord for friends his people y' y'= 
" Lord would be pleased to preserve y™ from this rough & foul Spirit y* 
" was risen up, y'= Lord did answer me in my prayer, y' this Spirit was 
" risen up for y^ tryall of his tender People in y'= light & hfe & power &. 
"grace & truth. & I saw more y" can be expressed in words, for it was 
" risen to try y™ and y« they might keep in y^ power of y<= Lord and in 
"their habitations, and so when y'= Lord hath tryed his people & their 
" singleness to him and when this spirit hath spent its strength and gone 
" y'= way of all y' hath rissen before it there they may se how all things 
" worke together for good to y" y' love god. & therefore stand fast in y'= 
" liberty wherewith X' hath made you free in his light, grace & truth & 
" power & spirit & faith to X'. from whence it comes : Christ your rock 
" and foundation y' cannot be shaken & in Whom is your Election & 
" life & salvation for that all may stand to X' their Lord & master to be 
" order'd by him with his Glorious Gospel which is not of man or by 


" man but from heaven. For I saw all friends sit as if they were 
" bedewed from heaven and they sate as in a valley & wet with y*= due of 
" Life and y'= other hard and sealed spirit was floting on top of y^ words 
" of truth w^** sp' is for y'= tryall of gods people of their standing single 
" in y^ life to god upon their own foundation. And so as I was at 
" prayer y^ Lord answered me y' this spirit of J.S. and J.W. and their 
" company was raised up for y^ tryall of friends theyr standing to god 
" for it was high and friends was low in y^ power & spirit of god & wet 
" with his due & sat in y^ vaUies & will rise when their high will fall. 
" And therefore friends are to stand to god 


" My dear friends 

Who suflFer for y^ Lord Jesus' sake and for y'= testimony of 
" his truth y<^ Lord God AUmighty uphold you with his power and sup- 
" port you in all yo'' tryalls and sufferings and give you patience and 
" content in his will y' you may stand valiant for X' & his (word torn 
" out at edge of paper) upon y^ earth over y^ psecuting & destroying 
" spirit w'^'' makes too suffer in Christ w'='' bruseth his head in whom 
"you have both election and Salvation. And for gods Elect y^ Lord 
" hath done much as may be seen throughout y^ scriptures of truth and 
" they that touches y" touches y"^ apple of gods eye they are so tender 
" to him therefore tis good for all gods suffering children to trust in y^ 
" Lord and to wait upon him for they shall be as mount Zion y' cannot 
" be removed from X' their rock and salvation w<^'' is all y^ elect of gods 
" foundation of Prophets & Apostles & gods people now and to y^ end 
" glory to y^ Lord & to y*= Lamb over all. 

" So remember my dear love to all friends y* way & y™ y' come to 
" visit you & do not think y^ tyme long for All tyme is in y'= fathers 
" hand, his power. And therefore keep y' word of Patience & exercise 
"y*^ gift & y'' Lord strengthen you in your sufferings in his holy spirit 
"of truth Amen. 


" Swarthmoor y^ 5th / , _„ 
of y'^ first mo. ( ' 

The two letters are both on one sheet, and appear to be rather a letter 
and a postscript. The signature (initials) is attached to the first and the 
date at the end of the second. 


Of Susanna Briggins, the wife of this WiUiam Briggins II, \vc read as 
follows, in the family Bible : — 

" My Mother Susanna Briggins was a vertious and well-inchned 
"woman one y' feared God and had y' Reput. And at any time when 
" Troubles or Exercises hapened on any Hand she would use to say. If 
" sorrows came overnight Joy would come in the morning, and was very 
" Devout and Religious in her way. She as well as my Father went 
"into Desenting Meetings and often used that saying of the Apostle, if 
"y'^ Righteous scarsely be saved where shall the wicked and ungodly 
" apear, and used often to say how circumspect all ought to be in there 
"lives & conversations. And was by hir sober Life & Conversation 
" generally beloved by all, and severall wroate some lines in verse con- 
" cerning her to keep up her memory after her Decease, as follows." 

Here follows an acrostic on the name " Susanna Wife of WiUiam 
" Briggins " beginning 

" Sigh! sorrows tears in vaine we here do spend 
" Upon our happy now deceased friend. 
" She dyed to sin by which ye crown she won, 
" And now by death a new Hfe hath begun." 
&c. &c. &c. 

" She was buried at y<= South west corner of Islington Steeple house 
"yard." She died on the 5th Feb. 1668. Aged 40 years. 

Next follows a very remarkable account of the last hours of Joseph 
Briggins, son of William and Susanna, who died at between eleven and 
twelve years of age in 1675. He had always been a dutiful and well 


behaved child, and had been accustomed to attend the Meetings of the 
Quakers, submitting to be laughed at by other boys for so doing. 
When near his end he fell into a sort of ecstacy in which he gave 
utterance to many beautiful thoughts, sometimes in verse and sometimes 
in eloquent prose. There is no wonder that his family were much im- 
pressed, and regarded it as something httle short of inspiration. An 
account of this scene is given in the old book called " Piety Promoted,"* 
which was an obituary record of members of the Society of Friends — 
published from time to time ; but the original in the family Bible is 
much fuller. 

We now come to Peter Briggins II who married Mariabella Farm- 
borough. The record of the birth of their children was kept, not in the 
large family Bible already mentioned, but in a l2mo. rubricated copy 
dated 1680, the binding of which is a remarkably beautiful specimen of 
xvii century work, and as such was selected for illustration in Miss 
Prideaux' recent work on bookbinding. 

It belonged originally to WiUiam Briggins III, and on his death in 
1702 was given to his sister-in-law Mariabella. The front page bears 
the following inscription : — 

"This Bible was given to Marabela Briggins in y^ year 1702." "and in 
" respect to him that was y" owner thereof I Bistowed Silver Clasps 
" hereon." 

On the third (blank) page we read — 

" This Bible was my Brother Wm. Briggins' who was borne y^ 22nd 
" Sep 1657 he dyed y^ 17 Sep 1702 of a feavour he finding himself not 
" very well went to Epsome for y^ air and was over perswaded to drink 
"ye Watters which chiled him & brought an agueish & feavourish 
" Distemp'' on him." 

Then follow the entries of the birth of their daughters Mercy, 
Susanna, Hannahbella, Gulielma and Mariabella Farmborough. The 
exact time of each birth is recorded — as was usual in those days, and it 
seems an interesting question whether this practice was a survival of 
the idea of the importance of accuracy in this detail for the purpose of 
" casting the horoscope." 

The word " daughter " is generally spelt " dafter " in this and other 
Briggins papers. I am informed that this contraction is met with in 
old Parish Registers. 

* Piety Promoted (2nd Edition) Vol. I, page 72, &c. 




We now enter a more peaceful and cheerful atmosphere. We find 
Peter Briggins living happily with his wife Mariabella (nee Farmborough) 
and his little daughters in their house at Bartholomew Close — probably 
the same as that in which his father lived before him.' The family had 
evidently prospered in spite of fines and imprisonments. They owned 
several houses in the Close, a house in Threadneedle Street, house pro- 
perty at Mile End, at Southwark, and probably elsewhere — with invest- 
ments in Stocks : and Peter Briggins was evidently on the look out for 
any good investment in ground rents. We have seen by the notice of 
distraint that William Briggins, the father, was described as a Tobac- 
conist — by which I do not understand that he kept a shop and stood 
behind the Counter deahng out ounces of tobacco and clay pipes, but 
that he was a wholesale dealer in that useful article, together with 
various other things. The goods distrained on were certain firkins of 
honey, and in Peter Briggins' time the business seems to have been to a 
great extent in honey, which at that period was an article of much 
greater moment in trade than it is now, being largely used in medicine, 
and not yet entirely displaced from its leading position in cookery by 

The gardens of these houses to luivc been on the site of the Mulberry G,-irden of the Priory — 
some of tlie trees existed almost within living memory. P.B.'s house was probably built at the end of the 
Monk's dormitorv. 


sugar, which was not imported in very large quantities.* It will be 
remembered that in the old Saxon days honey was of such importance 
in the domestic economy that it formed almost invariably a portion of 
the rents or dues that had to be paid to the overlord. Peter Briggins 
also carried on a business in hops, and the prospects of the hop market 
are often noted in his diary. Cochineal is mentioned, and probably he 
speculated in a quiet way in various colonial and foreign products. 

The troublous times of the xvii century had been followed by the 
prosperous da3's of Good Queen Anne before the extant Diary begins, 
but many of the well-known names of the earher period overlap the life- 
time of Peter Briggins. 

Samuel Pepys, the prince of Diarists, had lived till 1703, although his 
diary ceases in 1 670 owing to the partial failure of his eyesight. John 
Evelyn, whose diary is less amusing but scarcely less important than 
that of Pepys, hved till 1706, and the latter part of his Diary runs 
parallel with that of Peter Briggins. Izaak Walton had died when our 
Diarist was 17 years old. William Penn was still a prominent figure 
among the Quakers, and we meet him face to face, so to speak, in the 
Diary, as also various heroes and heroines of the 40 years of persecution. 

In opening the Journals of one who, as a Diarist, was contemporary 
with Pepys and Evelyn, and as an Angler was already shouldering his 
rod before Izaak Walton passed away, we naturally look for a treat. 
But Peter Briggins was neither " mighty curious " like Pepys, nor of 
encyclopedic knowledge and lofty acquaintance like Evelyn — and, as an 
Angler, he was content to catch minnows and ground-roach in the New 
River : so we also have to be content with such minnows as we can 
extract from the peaceful stream of the record of a good man's quiet Hfe 
as it was led by a prosperous merchant and an exemplary Quaker. The 
surface of the stream is occasionally stirred by a ripple from the great 
outer world, but mostly it flows through a very narrow channel. 

* If anyone wishes to find the whole question of the former use of honey treated in a characteristic 
German manner — exhaustive alike to the subject and to the reader, they may turn to the early chapters of 
von Lippmann's " Geschichte dcs Zuckers," Leipzig 1890. The quantities of honey bought by Peter Briggins 
appear very large to our modern ideas. It is difficult to find exact data on which to compare the consump- 
tion of sugar at the beginning of the last Century with that which exists at present. The trade was com- 
paratively small, and there was a very heavy import duty. From the materials I have been able to collect I 
should judge that the consumption per head of the population was about one-sixth of what it is now, or say 
10 lbs. in the year as compared with 62 lbs. 


Three volumes of the Diary remain to us. They are such incon- 
spicuous brown books, of small 8vo. size, that it is not wonderful that one 
or more intermediate ones and possibly some subsequent volumes have 
been lost in the three or four house movings to which they have been 
subjected in the course of 180 years. 

The first volume begins 

" An Acco' of y<= Weather from y« 25 : 7 mo. 1703 as follows" (It 
will be remembered that " seventh month " was September in the Old 
Style.) Each page is devoted to a week. They are strictly journals of 
fact, having been begun apparently with the primary intention of keeping 
a record of the weather, but extending to Memoranda of daily doings 
and matters of business. It is therefore useless to look for any expres- 
sion of opinion or feeling in them. Even the accounts of sermons are 
mostly dry abstracts of dry and probably often vague discourses, con- 
taining much more of Law than of Gospel. We shall see, however, as 
we proceed, that the entries throw much light on the daily life of London 
and on the pohtics of the day, and bring out many facts as to the changes 
that have taken place in the neighbourhood since the beginning of the 
last century, and they indicate, quite unconsciously on the writer's part, 
what a loveable and "serviceable" man Peter Briggins himself was: 
always ready to undertake the " afaires " of any Friend in trouble — to 
make up " diferances " — to inspect accounts — to make wills and see 
that the provisions of the same were carried out — to transact business 
for his reHgious Society — to superintend building or alteration of their 
Meeting Houses and Burial Grounds, and to carry his friends to their 
last resting place, " I holp carry hir " is a frequent entry. In this con- 
nection we may remark on the appalling number of deaths in the Quaker 
Community, and we are impressed with the fact that London was a very 
unhealthy place at that period. And no wonder, when we consider that 
it was almost, if not quite, destitute of drainage and dependent for much 
of its water-supply on shallow wells which had most unsanitary under- 
ground neighbours. 

We reaHze afresh also, to some small extent, how terrible was the 
scourge of small-pox before Jenner's wonderful discovery of vaccination 
checked its ravages ; and we cannot help wishing that those who deride 
this preventive would take the trouble to ascertain what the condition 
of London was before its introduction. It is not necessary to plunge 

28 ELIOT PAl^ERS 1703 

into Peter Briggins' Diaries for this purpose. The pubHshed Diaries of 
Evelyn and others are quite sufficient.* 

There are certain classes of Memoranda that might be of real service 
to compilers desiring accurate information in particular Hnes. Thus the 
weather reports might prove of considerable value if some patient 
meteorologist (with good eyes) cared to pick them out from among the 
family doings, the sermons and the prospects of the hop crop (the latter, 
however, being quite a cognate subject). A historian of the Society of 
Friends might glean much useful information as to the various Meetings, 
" the Meeting of xii," " the six weeks' Meeting," " the two weeks' Meet- 
ing," the " Workhouse " and its Meeting — the incredible activity of 
Friends in attending four or five Meetings in the week besides two on 
"first day" — even the abstracts of the sermons of George Whitehead, 
Wm. Penn and others might be of service. The history of the very 
warm discussions over the question of the " Solemn Afermation " is 
very curious and interesting, and some notice of it will be given in its 
proper place. 

* From a careful investigation nude in the large Parish of West Ham in 1885 it would appear that an 
////vaccinated person runs a risk of death from small-pox 184 times greater than one who has ever been 
vaccinated, and 9,000 times greater than one who has been re-vaccinated. 


We now proceed to give some extracts in the order in which they 
occur — trying to cull any morsels that may possibly have some hving 
interest for us at the present day. 

"7th of 8 mo. 1703 ... to Hornsy and fished about 2 hours & 
" only caught about 8 minnows & stone roaches and so to Hibery Barn 
" with my Wife & Bro. & our two elder children met us & so we got 
" home about 6 — a fine pleasant day." 

Highbury Barn ! through what strange vicissitudes this old build- 
ing must have passed. It began its existence about the xiii century as a 
Tithe Barn attached to a Country House of the Monks of the Priory of 
St John of Clerkenwell, and the country house was destroyed by Jack 
Straw in 137 1. I suppose the property was alienated at the Reforma- 
tion, and in Peter Briggins' time the Barn appears to have been a quiet 
and highly respectable place of entertainment to which a sober Quaker 
could take his wife and children, or even — as we find occasionally — 
arrange to meet them. In another 150 years or so, when I first re- 
member it (by name, for I never entered it) it was a place which no 
man or woman who had any regard for character could frequent — a 
dancing hall resorted to by the most dissolute of both sexes. In fact 
before it was pulled down, it gained such a hideous notoriety that the 
road from Ishngton to Highbury Barn came to be known as " The 
Devil's Walk." I do not know the year in which it finally disappeared, 
but it must have been about 1870. 

P.B's Quakerly principles do not seem to have prevented his dealing 
in " prize goods " — by which I understand property taken from the 


Enemy at Sea. On the 23rd Nov. he " went to Salters Hall but y^ sale 
" was over for Prize goods — so to the burial of D. Dale's (or Dole's) 
daughter." Was this the Dorcas Dole — fellow prisoner of his Mother- 
in-law of whom we read in a previous chapter ? (see page 6). 

At the end of this week we come upon an event which is recorded by 
John Evelyn as well as by our Diarist. It may be interesting to compare 
their accounts. Peter Briggins writes, under date 27 Novem. 1703: 
' Last night mighty windy & Stormy all night : it blew so high it made 
'our bed shake almost every blast. It hath done much damage to 
' tyehng &c altho' not much to us. Sat at home all the forenoon : in 
'afternoon I went with W.T. (William Tibey)* to his Mrs (? Master's) 
' &c & so home. Much tyhng was oflf of y'^ houses — windy most of y'' 
' day till near night." A marginal note with some further details is 
unfortunately broken away through the decay of the paper. 

" 28th. First Day. This morning I and wife went to B. & M. (Bull 
" & Mouth) Meeting — in afternoon to y^ Peel and so home. We saw 
"great damage done to many houses — A little coolish & dry." 

John Evelyn writes : " The eflfects of the hurricane and tempest of 
" wind, rain & lightning thro' all the nation, especially London, were 
"very dismal. xMany houses demolished & people killed. As to my 
" own losses — the subversion of woods & timber, both ornamental & 
" valuable, through my whole estate, and about my house (at Wotton) 
" the woods crowning the garden mount and growing along the park 
" meadows, the damage to my own dwelling, farms & outhouses is 
" almost tragical, not to be paralled'd with anything happening in our 
"age. I am not able to describe it, but submit to the pleasure of 
" Almighty God." and again Dec. 7 " Houses, trees, garden, &c. at 
" Says Court sufFer'd very much." 

On the 3rd December we find P.B. paying ;^250 for some cochineal 
— so his dealings in that article — among others — must have been large. 
A few days later we find him buying 8 hogsheads of " Hony." 

* William Tibey, born 1682, was a nephew of Peter Briggins — son of his sister Hannah who married 
Thomas Tibey. T.T. got into difficulty by becoming security for a friend, and fled to the West Indies, and 
this affected his wife so much that she died early. Thus William Tibey was left an orphan. He appears 
to h.ive lived to a considerable age, for we meet with him ,-igain in John Eliot's Journals in 1757. 

1703 — 1704 ELIOT PAPERS 31 

On the 29th December . . . . " fair pleasant weather and More- 
" fields very full of rude people flinging at Cocks." 

Have my readers ever studied the standard work known as " Strutt's 
" Book of British Sports " ? If they have not, they will hardly realize 
what the amusements of young Londoners in the last century were 
like. It is difficult to find any that were heahhy to the body and not 
degrading to the mind. Bull baiting was of course one of the most 
favourite — but this was expensive, and could only be engaged in occa- 
sionally — cock fighting was univer.sal amongst all classes, and " the 
" general " had their own special diversions, among which was the one 
alluded to. A cock was securely tied by a string, and the " sportsmen " 
threw short sticks or bludgeons at him till the poor creature was 
maimed and finally killed. The " sport " itself is, happily, nearly for- 
gotten, but it has left its mark in our language in the schoolboy expres- 
sion a " cock-shy." Another very favourite diversion of the j^oung 
Londoners was to tie together by a short string an owl (which birds were 
commoner then) and a d7ick, and set the duck to swim in a pond. The 
owl frightened the duck and caused it to dive and drag its companion 
under water, and the sport consisted in seeing whether the owl would 
be drowned before the duck was exhausted ! 

I have often thought in watching the hundreds of games of football 
which are to be seen on any winter Saturday afternoon all round London, 
that we may be truly thankful for the change that has taken place in the 
habits of our young clerks and " prentices " smce those old days — the 
healthy advance that has been made even within the last 25 years is 
very remarkable. 

In January 1703/4 we again find P.B. buying "29 casks of forrin 
" hony," and we meet with numerous entries such as " went to the Old 
" East India House & received y^ interest of three Bonds." 

In April 1704 we find him attending meetings four days running. 
At the end of a week so well begun it is not surprising that he spent 
his Saturday afternoon in making up " y^ diferance " between some of 
his neighbours — "and so home" doubtless with the reward of a cheerful 
heart and a good conscience. 


7. 3 mo. (Mav) 1704. After meeting "we went to Nuwington Green 
" Carding & home about 8 or 9 at night . . . in y^ evening it 
" Htened much." 

" Newington Green Garden," doubtless the same as the " Spring 
" Garden Newington " is another resort frequently mentioned as the 
object of countr}^ walks in the afternoon or evening. There are two 
Newingtons, one on the North and the other on the South of London. 
It seems clear that the former (properly called Stoke Newington) is the 
place intended, for the way to it would lie mostly across green fields, 
whereas the latter could be reached only by going through the thick of 
the City and across the narrow old London Bridge. A few days later 
we read, " about 4, I and my wife & children went in a Coach as far as 
" Frog Laine from (Smith) field, paid coach l8d. and walked to Nuwing- 
" ton C. Spring Garden ; they were making hay ; fine pleasant weather ; 
"not very hot." It may be noted that Newington Green was P.B.'s 

"21. 3 mo. Walked across the New River Head field." It would 
be difficult to find a field within a couple of miles of the New River 
Head now ! 

" Went to buy a landscip." This must mean a picture or an engraving 
probably for the decoration of his house. There are indications that in 
P.B's day many scruples which existed a generation or two later, had 
not yet become prominent. Many of us can remember the time when 
pictures or engravings — with the exception of portraits and " Penn's 
" treaty with the Indians " — were very rare indeed in Quaker houses. 

19. 4 mo. 1704. " In y^ morning about 3 o'clock, I and G.C. and 
" W.T. & T.B. went to Sheens at Edminton and so to their brook, but 
" CO' little. Dinner at Sheens." * 

Here he was getting very close to Izaak Walton's ground. The 
" Complete Angler" opens with a walk up Tottenham Hill. 

A day or two later we find P.B. buying " a fishing cain at Mr. 
" Brown's" for his nephew and companion W. Tibey. 

23. 4 mo. " Sam' made 2 brewings of mede.'" Similar entries occur 
frequently, in the same way as do notices of the family washing. So 
we see one use to which honey was still put in domestic economy. 

* The Slieens of Edmonton appear to have been a Quaker family who intermarried with the Comptons and others. 


27. 4 mo. " My wife was delivered of a dafter about 9J4 at night, 
"whom we called Gulielma : very hot &. sunshiny weather & dry." 

9. 5 mo. " With Mariabel Bleak went to Nuwington Meeting, we had 
" fair goeing, but it rained most of y'= Meeting time . . . we went 
" to y*^ 3 Crowns & so home by Whitmore's, we got well home tho' we 
" had a prity deal of trouble." 

This Mariabella Bleak naturally interests us, as sharing in the curious 
family name. She was evidently the daughter of a younger brother of 
Mrs Briggins' mother,* and so a near cousin. John Eliot IV, who 
traced out with such care all the ramifications of his family tree, entirely 
overlooks her, from which I fear that he had never read his great grand- 
fother's Diary, or he may have been misled by the fact that he evidently 
thought that Mariabella Farmborough's maiden name was Blake. 

On the Monday P.B. goes to " y^ 2 Ws meeting at B. & M." (the 
two-weeks' Meeting at Bull & Mouth) on the Tuesday to "y^ Peel 
" Meeting," and on the Thursday " to Meeting for Sufferings." 

5. 6 mo. we find him "very buisy running out hony"; at other times 
we read of visits to " y'= Potters," probably to order pots in which to 
put it. 

2. 7 mo. (September) " Fast day for y" fier of London." 
7. 7 mo. "Thanksgiving day for Y Duke of Marlboro's victory over 
" y^ ffrench," (at Blenheim) " round by Pauls : y« trained bands out & 
" livery men in y formalitys to attend y^ Queen." A fuller account of 
the celebration of " the thanksgiving for the late greate victory with the 
"utmost pomp & splendour" will be found in Evelyn's Diary under 
same date. 

About this time we find various transactions in buying and selling 
hops — also frequent purchases of " hony " — a purchase of Tobacco is 
mentioned, but dealings in this article seem to have been rare. We get 
ghmpses of pleasant country walks with his wife to " Mile End and 

Her Father was named John Bleake and came from War: 


" Beddnal Green," as well as to Newington, the New River, " Busbys 
"folly" and other resorts. Mrs Briggins evidently frequently visited 
" y« Workhouse," and her husband walked home with her. " To y'= 
" barber's " is a frequent entry. 

4. 9 mo. " K. W"' Birthday & g' ringing of Bells &c." 
25. 10 mo. " X™^ day. Our children went to see M. Hewit in a 
" coach". 

3. II mo. (January) "Met my wife at y'= Wheatsheaf, came with 
" her from meeting & went with her & saw y^ standrds & couUers taken 
" by D. Malbro &c." 

6. 1 1 mo. " In y^ evng. went to see y'^ Queens coach at Goldsmiths 
" Hall with my 3 eld. dafters." 

About the end of November and the beginning of December there 
seems to have been a very unhealthy season. We find notes "y^ 
" Weekly bill (of mortality) 706 ; very high bill " and the next week " y^ 
" W. bill 643 " and mention is made of the deaths and burial of several 
friends, and such entries as " I had a sore throat cold." " My 2 young'' 
" child : co' g' colds " — at this time my Daf Hanah not very well." By 
the beginning of January, 1705, the " Week's bill" had dropped to 344, 
showing that the previous mortality had been something very unusual. 

4. 2 mo. 1705 " being fast day ... I & my w. & children went 
"to Gracious S' M' . . . G.W. (probably George Whitehead) & 
" W. Penn (preached) y' we should come to know a fasting from sin & 
" a living to God &c." 

6. 2 mo. 1705 "to y^ M' for Suferings & spoak to H. Goldney ab* 
" W"" Penn's afair relat. to Jo" Darby." 

2. 3 mo. 1705. " Yesterday a whale was brot to Greenwich (ab* 
" 48 ft. long) & this day a woman was burnt in Smithfield for coyning." 

" Coining," (as a form of felony which interfered with the Royal Pre- 
rogative) was visited with the severest penalties. Men were sentenced 
to be " drawn and hanged," but wo7?ien were to be burned alive. " For 
" as the decency due to the sex forbids the exposing and publicly 


" mangling their bodies, their sentence (which is to the full as terrible 
" to sensation as the other) is to be drawn to the gallows and there to 
"be burnt alive" (Blackstone). As a matter of fact women who 
were sentenced to be burnt ahve were mercifully strangled before 
the fire reached them, but on one notorious occasion in 1726, when 
a woman was being burned for the murder of her husband, the 
fire reached the hangman's hands before he could tighten the cord, 
and the poor creature suffered the full agony of the torture. As 
far as I can learn, the last instance of a woman being burned for 
coining was in front of the debtors door at Newgate in 1789. By an 
Act passed 30 George III cap. 48 this horrible punishment was changed 
to hanging, and even this penalty has since been superseded by im- 
prisonment or penal servitude. 

3. 3 mo. 1705 "ab' 3 I w' with my W. and T.B. to Bilhngsg' & took 
" waf to see y« Whale, it lay at this side Bedford : it was a mighty fish, 
" about y^ length above (given). We cut a piece of whalebone out of 
"y*= Jaw." Evelyn tells of a large whale being killed in the shallow 
water near Greenwich in 1658 and another coming ashore in 1699. It 
is curious that three whales should have been caught in this part of the 
Thames in 50 years. 

16. 3. mo. 1705. " I and my W (wife) & M. & S. & T. Brinsmead 
" walked as far as y'^ cave in Hornsey wood." This, I believe, was on 
the site now occupied by Finsbury Park : the " Hornsey Wood " Tavern 
stood there. 

Now we come again, and for the last time, into touch with Evelyn's 
Diary — and in a very interesting way, namely, a General Election, in 
which we are not surprised to find that the good old Tory gentleman 
and the worthy Quaker merchant took opposite sides. 

"28. 3 mo. 1705. This morning I and my Brother T. P. (Thomas 
" Farmborough the surgeon) and T. Brinsmead went in a boat to Bran- 
" ford* (Brentford) & I with other frds poled for Wesenham & Barker 
" & came back by water." 

* Brentford would be the polling place for Middlesex and Guildford for Surrey. P.B. had property in 
Southwark, as well as various properties on the North of the Thames. 



30. 3 mo. 1705. " I about 4 a clock in the morn, w' to y^ Bridge 
" foot & took a coach to Guildford & pol"^ for S"' R"* Onslow & S"' W"" 
" Scowen I w* with 5 others in y^ Coach : y^ weather coole I lay at 
" Caleb Wood's at Guildford and returned in y<= s^ coach about 3 in 
" aft" of next day. For y'^ future I think considering y^ g' crowd y* day, 
" it may be best to goe y'= next day, y^ Poll lasting 2 days & its best for 
" lodging so to do. When I come home I went to y'= Yearly Meeting." 

Now let us see what John Evelyn says of the matter. 

" Most extravagant expense to debauch and corrupt votes for Parlia- 
" ment Members. I sent my Grandson with his party of my freeholders 
" to vote for Mr. Harvey of Combe."* 

Probably Evelyn's remark about bribery was only too well justified : 
it was the rule and not the exception — but possibly the good old man's 
wrath would not have been so evoked but for the fact that Briggins and 
his fellow Whigs got their men in, and Mr Harvey, who was a very 
strong Tory, was unsuccessful. 

About this time P.B. apparently set up a weathercock, as he regularly 
notes the direction of the wind. He also frequently notes the price of 
hops, and the two things have a certain connection, for the price of the 
old hops would be affected by the prospects of the coming crop, and 
that depends very greatly on the weather — cold and dry winds are apt 
to subject the growing hops to insect plagues — or, as he briefly notes, 
"Wind N y^ hops very lowsy." The summer of 1705 seems to have 
been a dry one, for on the lOth of 5 mo. — July — he notes " The fields 
" very russit." 

II. 6 mo. 1705 "In y^ morn went to see y^ fier at Somerset 
" House. It burnt down 2 or 3 stables. It came, they say, by un- 
" slacked lyme being laid near ene of y^ Doors & by a shower of Raine 
" it kindled y'^ fier, y'= wind being very high." This Somerset House 
was not the formal range of public offices which we all know so well, 
but an old Palace — formerly the Dower House of the Queens of 
England ; but in the early xviii century a sort of Almshouse for decayed 

In Evelyn's published Diary the dnte is printed " 20th " May. This is evidently a misprint, for there 
no possible mistake about the date in P.Bs Diary. 


nobility — as Hampton Court is now. The present Somerset House 
was built about a century ago. He adds a side-note, " Noat. this wind 
" did g' damage as also to y<= hops : it blow"* down y'= poles &. they 
"advanced 20s. p. cwt. for y^ wind." 

While on the subject of hops we may remark that there were evidently 
hop gardens close to London, even on the North, about (Stoke) New- 
ington, Edmonton, " Bois Farm," &c., although, as might be expected, 
these did not prosper in a bad season such as 1708, as well as those 
about Canterbury. It was part of the old fashioned economy to grow, 
as far as possible, all that was needed for the daily life, on each estate. 
I believe that a trace of this universal culture of hops may be found in 
the name " Hoppet " for a small meadow or orchard — a term which is 
still in use in conveyances of land in parts of Essex where no hops 
have been grown for very many years. 

30. 6 mo. 1705. " In y^ evening I went to meet y*^ Capt. of y^ 
" trained bands.'" Why should P. B., a Quaker, go to see such an 
official ? I believe that, being a wise man, he thought it prudent to 
keep in touch with the semi-mihtary power on which depended to a 
great extent the maintenance of order in London. These were days of 
frequent public rejoicings over victories abroad, and the principles of 
the Quakers forbade them to join in illuminating their houses, and in 
consequence the mob amused themselves by breaking their windows. 
It is a significant fact that we frequently find that Peter Briggins' house 
was not molested when many others suffered. 

7. 9 mo. " In y<= evening I went with J. Sloadar to W*"- Elwoods & 
" ended y*^ diferance between them." 

25. II mo. (January) 1705/6 (St. Paul's day — see note on page 46). 
" Noat. This 24 hours (I think) it hath snowed and it lyes about I foot 
" thick on y'= ground. There hath not been y^ like some years." Two 
months later we find that it is " hot sultery weather with sunshine & 
"clear like midsummer." 


20. I mo. (March) 1706. "This day fast day for a blessing on 
" y^ armies." 

23. 2 mo. (April) 1706. " Saw y^ Venetian Ambassador goe by 
" y^ change about 5 o'clock." 

4. 4 mo. 1706. "This day a constable searched our house for 
" seamen." 

27. 4 mo. (June) 1706. "this day y^ Queen was at Paul's Cathed' 
" it being a thanksgiving day for y^ D. of M's victory over y^ French" (at 
Ramilies). On the 3 1 of 10 mo. we find that the Queen was again at 
St. Paul's " for to return thanks for y^ many victories of y^ last 
" year, &c." 

24. 8 mo. 1706. " Windy & wet weather. Our wether glass last 
" night was almost at y« lowest at 28 in. 

" Stormy wet wether : y^ wind high last night." 

On the 31. I (xMarch) 1706 we find him visiting the New River 
" beyond Nuington, made anew to bring y^ water quicker to London." 
It is interesting to find that already improvements of this kind were 
being made. Within the last 40 years the course of the River has 
been much shortened for the same purpose. When it was first made, 
being a great experiment, the main object was to avoid expense by 
following the lines of the hills and avoiding needless cuttings or 

40 ELIOT PAPERS I707— 1708 

On his return he comes by Highbury Barn and " Cambery House" 
(Canonbury House). This magnificient old Mansion still stands but is 
divided into three, forming Nos. 6, 7, and 8 of Canonbury Place. 

On the 9th of May 1706 he shared with William Penn the duty of 
carrying one M. Brown " to y"= grave." 

In May 1707 we read that " ther was such admirable drifts of small 
" flys, like annt (ant) flys with long wings y* I never saw ye like. They 
" lay thick on y<= ground & houses." 

On the 2lst August he went with others to see about "ve Poors 
" coles." It was evidently one of the many wa^^s in which they helped 
their poorer neighbours, to provide them with a regular supply of coals. 
One would like to have some details of this early " coal club." These 
coals were, of course, all brought to London by water : the " sea-coal " 
of Shakspere. 

23 Aug. " Y^ Lord Mayor & Aldermen came by our Dore this after- 
"noon to proclaim this wicked fare." Evidently the annual Bartholomew 
Fair (commonly called " Barthlemy Fair ") held in Smithfield close by, 
which was indeed a disgraceful scene. (St. Bartholomew's day is 
August 24th). Several mentions of it will be found in Pepys. In spite 
of the fact that it was a notorious scene of drunkenness and riot, I 
beheve it was not finally suppressed till 1850. 

5 Sept. 1707 " to y'^ Spring Garden, y^ hops was this day cut dovv-n 
" whilst we was there." 

27 Sep. 1707. " I went with G. M. and J. Stringfeld to discourse 
"J.Jackson ab' his putting out his latter book in favour of the Camisers" 
and again 2 Nov. 1707. "3 Camisers stood at y^ Exchange y^ day for 
" Profesieing &c. they stood not in y'= pillery but on an advanced Stadle." 
The "camisers" were some of the " Camisards,"* the Huguenots of the 
Cevennes, who were driven to rebellion by the Revocation of the Edict 
of Nantes in 1685. They were not finally subdued till 1704. In 1706 
some of the more fanatical of them came to this country and caused 
much scandal by their presumptuous conduct and extravagant pretensions ; 

A valuable work on " The Camisards," b)' Mr Chas. Tylor bas lately been publisbed by Simpkin, 
Marshall & Co., London. Sec page 209 of that book for a fuller account of the above. 


Though they attracted numerous followers they were denounced by 
sensible men of all shades of thought. The three who stood in the 
pillory were Elie Marion and his two secretaries. 

We now begin to come upon notices of the unsettlement and uneasi- 
ness caused by the Pretender. 

13. I mo. (March) 1708. " I called this day at y<= Bank and there was 
" g' hurry in paying mony. People in a fear becaus of y'= landing of y*^ P.P. 
" of Wales in Scotland." 

17 March. "I at home all day except at Change & at y^ Bank &.c. 
" people in g' confusion on ace' of y*^ French fleet supposed landing at 
" Scotland with y'^ Pretender P. of Wailes aboard. Bank and India 
" Stock fallen ab' 10 or 15 per cent & N. & old bonds about 2 guineas 
" p. cent Disco'. 
" Noat. Y^ Bank allow 6 p. cent on their bills from yesterday." 

20 March. " People make g' complaints by reason of y^ Deadness of 
" Trayd & Stocks low as above." 

21. April. "My bro. F. (? Farmborough) & my W. & children & 
" Marabel went to Tatnam (Tottenham) " Tottenham must at that time 
have been a very quiet country village, chiefly straggling along the main 
North road — with several fine mansions, including that of the Earls of 
Coleraine at Bruce Castle. 

On the 12 of May 1708 we find him again journeying to Guildford 
by coach to take part in an election of "knights of y<= shire." 

19 June 1708. Our Dafter Hana was taken ill 1st Day and on y'^ 3rd 
" Day y'= smallpox came out & y"= child we feared yesterday was rather 
"worse, & this morn, we sent for Dr. Lower; he prescribed some 
" Diacodium & some Ganscoins powder & simple waters made up into 
" a cordial, & y'^ child seems a little better disposed to sleep than before, 
" by Dr. Lower's" advice we had Guile let blood to prevent her having 
" ye small pox so violent as Hannah." 

'* This Dr Lower was prob.ibly Thomas Lower, M.D., son-in-law of Margaret Fell, who married Geo. Fox. 
He died in 1720, aged 88. 


24 June. " Noat : our Dafter Hannah after 5 or 6 dales being blind, 
" could see (thro' ye Lord's goodness) & was something better this day 
"& began to eat — but was very bad before.'"' 

3 July. Our dafter Guile ab' y<= Midle of this week y'= small pox came 
" out but not so full as Hanna." 

On the 30 June is a marginal note " Y^^ Duke of M. beat y'^ french." 

7. 5 mo. 1708. "Went to y" Collection at y<= Peel. — Camfield spk y' 
" we know a growing in grace as from a child's state to a father's &c. and 
"J. Butcher y« we prize y^ g' mercys we enjoy of our peaceable meetings 
"together & of y^ mercys y'= Lord is pleased to continue to this 
" nation &c." 

He several times alludes to this blessing of peaceable meetings and 
refers to the time within memory when it was otherwise — as he had 
experienced in his own person (see page 16). 

12. 5 mo. 1708. " I at home all day & let blood for a pain in my 
" side." 

It now became desirable to get country air for the convalescent from 
the small pox, and accordingly he looks at lodgings at Islington, and 
finally engages " an apartment," (evidently used in the French sense of a 
suite of rooms) in Newington Town, paying £4. 10 o for three months. 
Thither " My w. & children & Marabel & M " (this was, I think, their 
maid Marshall) " removed on the 16." " in a coach for 3s. ." On the 
same day he notes " this evening severall Gt claps & rumbehngs as it 
" were round of Thunders & it litened much, I don't know that I ever 
" knew it thunder & liten more violent." 

After this we find him frequently going backwards and forwards to 
Newington to see after " o' children," his wife being sometimes with 
them and sometimes at home. Cousin Marabel taking charge in her 

He appears not unfrequently to extend his northward journey to 
Tottenham Meeting — chronicling the sermons there as usual. It is 
interesting to remember that John Evelyn does just the same in his 
diary — keeping notes of the sermons that he heard Sunday after 

* I notice that Hannahbella did not marry till she was nearly 40 ; whereas the others all married under 
30, from which 1 conclude that the small pox had left its marks. 


In August 1708 we find our Diarist much occupied over the enlarge- 
ment of " the Peel " Meeting House. It is probable that this old place 
of worship in Peel Court, St. John St., West Smithfield, remains much 
as he left it when these enlargements were completed. 

19 Aug. 1708. "This day y^ Queen went to Pauls on ace' of 
" y^ Victory obtained over y^ French at Audinard." 

2. September 1708. "all stocks & Bonds &c on y declining on y'= 
" ace' of y^ 111 success of afairs abroad & y^ siege of Lille." 

14 Oct. 1708. " After noon wt to fetch my children from Nuwing- 
"ton." We may hope that the little girls had enjoyed their stay in the 
country, and that the two sufferers from small pox had quite recovered. 
They had had wet weather apparently, at first, and afterwards a long time 
of drought, and " Fair & pleas' weather for y^ season." 

Nov. 1708. "To y*^ Fier Offis in S'. Martins Lane to give in my 
" voat." 

17 Nov. 1708. "to Change & met Jo" Ashe about y^ skins from 
" Pensilvania." 

The last remaining entry in this volume is as follows : 

4. X mo. (December 1708). "I at home all day, last n' fell a great 
" deale of snow : y« wether very cold & drisly. Bonds African about 43 
" per cent (?) discount. Old Company about 17^ per cent disc'. Hops 
" rather advancing." 


There must be one or two volumes missing, for the next extant 
volume begins with 6th 1 1 mo. 17 1 1. (January 1711/12). We find 
the quiet life going on just as before, but with unmistakeable evidence 
that the good man had prospered in the meantime. There are fewer 
notes about hops and "hony" and more about Stocks and attendances 
at the Bank and the East India and South Sea Offices, and much about 
Lotteries. The weekly page is also more taken up with notes of the 
sermons heard at the Meetings. 

South Sea Stock was at this time as legitimate an investment as East 
India Stock — though probably not really so sound. The South Sea 
Company was founded in 171 1, by an arrangement with Harley, Earl of 
Oxford. In consideration of the Company paying off ten millions of 
National Floating Debt, they received a monopoly of the trade with the 
South Seas (the Southern Atlantic) especially with the Spanish Colonies 
in South America, and other advantages. It was not till 1720 that the 
scheme was inflated, and pubhc speculation stimulated until it grew into 
the celebrated " South Sea Bubble," by which so many fortunes were 
wrecked. At the height of the excitement the ;^ioo stock rose to 
^1,000, and then fell rapidly to ^150, and the ultimate salvage to the 
proprietors and subscribers was about ^33 6s. 8d. per cent. I am 
unable to trace whether the Briggins' family lost anything by the 
Company — possibly they were wise enough to " sell out " in time. 

" The Bank " was at this time, I beheve, at Grocer's Hall, in the 
Poultry, the East India Company in Leadenhall Street. 


8. II mo. 1711. " I at home afore noon & after went to Change 
" & sold M. Bleak's blank tickets for £'] \l G after (having) sercht 
" them at And'^ Bell's offis : Lottery ended this day." 

9. II mo. " In y^ morning went to y<^ Guildhall & saw y^ classes for 
" course of paym' of y'= tickets drawn : afternoon went to Change & sold 
" 50 (? guineas) a year anuity for my father T.F." (Thomas Farmborough). 

It is curious to note that the Friends at this time, and even two 
generations later, do not seem to have had the smallest misgiving as to 
the propriety of Lotteries — they were regarded as a perfectly legitimate 
form of speculation — even, apparently, for young persons like Mariabella 

12. II mo. "In y^ morning went to Lincoln's Inn about buying 
" Orphants (orphans) stock." 

15. II mo. "In y^ morning about buying Orphans' Stock for my 
"father T.F. . . . and paid for y'= Orphants Stock in y^ evening." 

This " Orphans Stock " is mentioned not unfrequently, and evidently 
remained as a family investment for many years — for we meet with it again 
in the Diaries of P.B's grandson, John Eliot III, and in family Deeds and 
Settlements. I have been quite unable to discover what the stock was 
which went by this name. No such stock is known at the Bank of 
England as having ever existed on their books. 

16. II mo. " Fast day on ace' of approaching peace." 

20. II mo. " Went to Plaistow to see my children M. & S. (Mercy 
" & Susanna) & to y^ mtg. &c." 

These two were now at school at Plaistow, apparently with a Thomas 
Peacock. We have two or three loving and wise letters written to them 
by their Father — which the reader shall share when we have done with 
the diaries. (See Chapter XVIII.) 

26. II mo. " Yesterday was y' called St. Paul's day : in y^ fournoon 
" high winds : ab' 2 sun shined out clear ab' 3 it began to rain till about 
" 7 or 8 at night." This exact description of the weather on St. Paul's 
Day no doubt refers to an old weather proverb, of which various versions 
in Latin and other languages have been current throughout Western 
Europe. One of the English versions runs : 

lyil — 1712 ELIOT PAPERS 47 

"If St. Paul's Day be fair and clear 
"It does betide a happy year. 
"But if it chance to snow or rain, 
" Then will be dear all kinds of grain. 
" If clouds or mists do dark the sky, 
"Great store of birds and beasts shall die. 
" And if the winds do fly aloft, 
" Then war shall vex the kingdom oft." 

16. 12 mo. 1711 (February 1711/12). "We had an ace' this day 
" y' y-' young Dauphin & wife dved within 6 davs of one another of y^ 
" measles." 

24. 12 mo. "In y<= morning I &. H. &. G. & Great Bell went 
" to Nuwington Meeting." 

Great Bell is evidently Mariabella Bleak, as opposed to her little 
Cousin Mariabella Farmborough Briggins, who is called " Little Bell." 

I. I mo. 17 12. (xMarch) "There was a strong report yesterday 
"yt ye Frcuch King was dead." 

6. I mo. 17 12. "I at home all day except at Sion Collage & at 
" Col. Gower's in Fleet St." One's curiosity is excited as to what could 
take him to so ecclesiastical a place as Sion College — but it has to 
remain unsatisfied. Sion College with its Library and Almshouses 
stood in London Wall, at the corner of Philip Lane, and just opposite 
the interesting remains of the old Wall in the little churchyard of St. 
Alphage. It was moved away, and the ground occupied by warehouses, 
about 20 years ago. 

24. 3. 17 12. "after il a clock went to South Sea Office & transfered 
" 500 of y' Stock of my Bro. he had in my name." 

25. 3 mo. " In y^ morning abo' 6 a clock I & my wife went to 
" Plaistow to see our 3 children . . . ab' 5 we set out homeward & 
" at home about 9 a clock, we could not get a coach." 



We now hear of the discussions which occupied the thoughts of the 
Quakers for two or three years as to the Affirmation which they were 
allowed to make in Courts of Justice in place of an oath. It will be 
remembered that much of the persecution which they had suffered 
in the previous century was consequent on their refusal to take an oath 
of any kind. When more statesmanlike counsels prevailed in high 
quarters, their objection was frankly recognised, and Members of their 
Society were allowed to make a solemn affirmation or declaration in 
place of a judicial oath. But it appears that even this concession failed 
to sati-sfy some of the more scrupulous. They considered that it was 
not allowable to go beyond the exact words of "Yea" and "Nay," and 
some had incurred penalties or disabilities by refusing to make the 
prescribed affirmation. Reports of these events had been sent to the 
"Yearly Meeting," t and the question arose whether these were 
" sufferings " of a nature to be recognised by the whole Body of the 
Society by the formality of entering them upon their records, and 
whether an attempt should be made to obtain a further alteration in the 
law. Much strong feehng — even amounting to bitterness — seems to 

* Readers who t.ike no special interest in Qu.ikerism may skip this chapter. 
+ See page 86, foot note. 


have been evolved in the course of the controversy, and it is instructive 
to observe that the counsels of wisdom and moderation evidently came 
from those who had proved in their own persons that they were not 
afraid to face imprisonment and the risk of death itself, when a real 
principle was in question. 

II. 4 mo. (June) 17 12. "To }^ adjournment of y'= Yrly Meets & a 
" Debate arose abo* entering sufferings on ace* of y« afermation but could 
" not agree about it." This debate (begun the year before) went on for 
days, "and there was great Debates & little or nothing done but 
" Debates abo' y<= Afermation " through this week and the next. At last 
the discussions are over for this year, and the Annual Session of the 
Society closed in the usual solemn fashion. " Y^ Countys was called over 
" & a good ace' given of y'= prosperity of truth &c." After several long 
sermons, "G. Whitehead, W". Penn & Thos. Ecleston ended the 
" meeting with prayer, altho' a w° friend & Henry Atkinson prayed 
" after," from which it appears that the ministrations of these latter were 
not acceptable, and were considered an intrusion by the majority of the 

It may be well to follow up this subject, out of the strict order 
of dates. Therefore we pass on to the next Yearly Meeting. 

29 of 3 mo. (May) 17 13. "Afternoon went again" (to the Yearly 
Meeting) " but y'= Dissatisfieds would not allow any minit to be made 
" (y' whereas some friends had judged y"^ afermation as much forbid as 
" anything in y'= 5 of Matthew, y' y"^ s^ Mtg did not think it an Oathe 
" & did not allow such reflections contrary to y'= advise of a former Yrly 
" Mtg., that both sides should keep out of a judging spirit, &c.") 

30. 3 mo. " to y<= adjournm' of y« Yrly Mtg. & after some debates a 
" minit was made passing a judgment on y*^ spirit of contention y' is too 
" much gotten up amongst us and a tender advise to all the conscious 
" therein &:c. 

" I went afternoon to y*^ adjournment of y^ Yrly Mtg & friends had 
" much under consideration to consider how to propose such a clause 
" to y^ P — (? Parliament) y' all may be easey. G. W. proposed two 
" ways : y' is, y* frds may not be obliged to repeat y'= words after a 
" Clark &c but only to answer Yea or nae. Or otherwise — y' as (to) 
"y*^ later part of y^ Solemn Afirmation, to wit y'= witness of y^ truth 
" &c, may be left out. And debates arising y"" Dissatisfied frds not being 

17 13 ELIOT PAPERS 51 

Siittisfied with these proposals, y" Mtg. adjorned till 2nd day morning 

to resume y<= matter." 

3. 4 mo. " Many friends appointed delivered there opinion v' there 
was no likelyhood of getting any amendm' to y'^ Sol. Afirmation at 
' present &c."' 

5. 4 mo. " Afern. again at y^ s^* Mtg. . , . y^ friends appointed 
' in y'= morning bro' in there report and advised to forget and forgive 
' whats past &. y* love may increase amongst us &c." 

6. 4 mo. " Afternoon went to change & to adjornmt of y'^ Yrly Mtg. 
'& it was proposed by our frd G. Whitehd. y' a free conferance might 
' be entered Into between y"^ frds satisfied with y^ solemn afirmation & 
' y'= Dissatisfied, whereby he doubted not but y' he could, thro' y'= Lord's 
' assistance, prove y' its no more than what y« Apostles & holymen did 
'practice &. our ainchant frds. did approve of: & whereas some did 
' afirm it was more than yea or na he desired they might prove there 
' assertions, which they at all times and this Day declined &. offered 
' weak arguments &c & y' it was as they pretend more from conviction 
' then otherwise." 

I have not observed any further reference to the subject, and I 
suppose that this strong position, taken up by a leader of such eminence 
as George Whitehead, tended to settle the matter, and that the 
" Dissatisfieds " quietly gave way. 




-•We must now return to 1712. 

■ "lO. 5 mo. 1712. "We was up after 12 at night, y" Mob being up and 
" candles burning in our neighbours windows till then on ace' of Dunkirk 
" being put into our hands &c." 

30. 6 mo. " to y-' coffee house & to y« sword blade office." 
P.B. appears to have had frequent business at this office : but I can 
throw no light upon its nature. It certainly would not be in any way 
connected with warlike weapons. 

2. 7 mo. " Fast day on ace', of y'^ Fier of London. 

24. 7 mo. 17 12. " Went to y« Gen'. Court of y^ S. Seas. 

21. 8 mo. " W. Powel died this day & buried at night." On another 
occasion we find P.B. going "about II at night" to see a friend's body 
deposited in a vault at Bunhill Fields. 

31.8 mo. " Met with y*" friends about building a New Meeting house 
"at Tatnam" (Tottenham). This agrees with the recorded date of the 
building of the present Meeting House, so familiar to those who were 
educated at the well known school at " Grove House." Peter Briggins 
probably lived to see it completed in 17 15. 

Mariabella Bleak ("Great Bell") is evidently now living with them, 
and apparently three of the daughters are at school at Plaistow. Peter 


Briggins' business frequently takes him to various Coffee Houses, not 
only on his own account but for "friends' afaires," and we find him often 
attending at attorneys' offices to " make up the diferance " between 
litigants. He seems to have been constantly welcomed as a friendly 
arbitrator. What higher testimony could be given to his character ? 

" Blessed are the Peacemakers for they shall be called the children 
of God." 

We meet with various mentions of one Capt. Bowry. It has been 
suggested that this may be the " T.B." who has left a most valuable MS 
account of travels in the Eastern Seas in the XVH Century, and that 
this unique volume may have been given to Peter Briggins, in gratitude 
for his kindness to the writer or his widow. (See Appendix C). 

4. 2 mo. 17 13. "Last night a Messenger came with y^ treaty of 
" Peace signed by y^ French & y<= Confederates except y^ Emperor, and 
" y<= Mob was very Rude & broak y^ windows of those y« put not out 
" candles — but we escaped." 

23. 2 mo. " Y^ Mob out & our Nabrs. set out candles." 

5. 3 mo. " In y« morning at Guildhall & at General Court at y<= Bank. 
" Ye Peace was this day proclaimed between France and England and 
"great Mobin (mobbing) about. Our neighbour Leaf had about 100 
" lights out. W' to bed about I a clock." 

6. 3 mo. " Severall frds windows much broak by y^ Mob." 

14. 3 mo. " bought 9 bags of old hops for my wife." Was this for 
the family brewings or a speculation on account of her " separate 
estate " ? 

16. 3 mo. " My wife went this morning to Plaistow and brought 
" home o'' daughters Mercy & Susanna." This seems to have been the 
end of their school days. "Mercy" was about 17, and "Susanna" 
about 16. 

II. 4 mo. " My wife & all our children & M. Bleak went in a coach 
" to Plaistow & left Hannahbella & Gulielma at John Peacock's. It 
" driseled most of the day small rain." 


4. 5 mo. " Noat. There's great preparations in Smithfield with many 
"great Images Representing Gog & Magog is to be illuminated next 3rd 
" day being y^ day called Thanksgiving Day on ace' of y^ peace with 
" France. As also mighty preparations in Lighters to be performed as 
"on y' night on y«= Thames." 

6. 5 mo. 17 13. "In y* morning went with my nab'' Butcher to 
" y^ Bank & to y^ Coffee house. Aftern. went with my Dafters M. & S. 
" & S. Hewit & saw y« Preperation for y« Fier works on y'= Thames & y'= 
" tumbs (tombs) at Westminster Hall & hous of Lords & Commons. 

7. 5 mo. 17 13. "Great mobbing & Fireworks on y*= Thames & in 
" Smithfield for y^ Thanksgiving (as they call it) on ace' of y<= Peace." 

15. 5 mo. (July) "This is y' called St. Swithin's day: fair till ab' 8 
" in morning : it miseled & raj^ned small rayne till about 3 after n : 
" y<= evening after clear & sunshiny." 

20. 5 mo. " Our Daughters Mercy & Susse went to Eliz Hopcraft to 
" raise paste." Their school education being apparently completed they 
were to study the more useful branches of knowledge. 

8. 6 mo. (August) " Noat. It rained, I think, more or less this week 
" either day or night. Its a very wet Season. I had no new hony come 
" as yet." 

15. 6 mo. "All this week fine pleasant wether bread fallen 2d. a peck 
" by reason thereof. Noat. a h peck loaf for 2 weeks past was at I4d. 
" now at 13d." 

2. 8 mo. 1713. " At y^ Bull Meeting G. Whitehead & another friend 
" spk ... as its recorded of John y^ beloved Disciple y' when he 
" was grown old & forced to be led to y^ assembly of God's people — 
" in y' day his sermant was short. Little Children or Dear Children love 
" one another, & as its said being asked why he always used y' exhorta- 
" tion, his answer was y' if they abode in y^ true faith & loved one 
" another it was y« substance of all Religion, for without Charity & true 
" love all is as nothing." 

15. 8 mo. 17 13. "went with my fa. (father in law) T.F. to y<= Election 
" of Parliament men at Guildhall." 

II. 9 mo. " W' to y<= S. Sea house &. p''. for & accepted of 500 
" S. S. Stock for o' M. Bleake." 


25. 9 mo. " bo' a Ticket for M. Bleake" evidently in a Lottery. 
19. 10 mo. " at frds burying ground abo' considering whether it was 
"proper to bury in y« Old Ground formerly bury'^ in." 

3. 12 mo. 1713. (February 1713/14) " Noat : there was for 3 or 
" 4 days a great Runn on y^ Bank by Reason of a noyse about y^^ 
" Pretender & also of y<= Queens not being well — which occasioned their 
" calling in 20 p. ct. of those y* circulated exchequer bills." 

6. 12 mo. 17 13/14. "Candles & bonfiers on ace' of Queen Ann's 
" hearth day." 

14. 12 mo. (Sunday) " I & Susse &c. went to Plaistow to see H. & 
" G. & w' to y^ Mtg." (Then follow long accounts of the sermons). 
" We walkt it thither & back to Algate almost, & my w & M met us & 
" came home in a coach to Aldersgate St." 



ANNE, &C. 

9. I 17 14. '■ Went to see Jo" Hall & wife in y^ Fleet." There is no 
indication how this couple found their way into this ancient prison. 

3. 3 mo. 1714. "Our Thos. not well, was let blood." 

4th 5th & 6th " Thos. not well." 

8th. Dying messages left by the sick man. 

II. 3 mo. "In y^ morning about 6 a clock my man Thos. Barber 
" departed this life after ab^ 10 days ilness of a fevour." 

13. 3 mo. " Went with my wife to y" Peel to y^ Mtg. appointed for 
"y<= Buriall of my man Thos. Barber. It was very full." (Sermons 

24. 3 mo. " This evening John Andrews came to live with me as a 
" servant." 

29. 3 mo. " Y<= Bells was rung pritty much & y" Gunns fiered off 
" but y^ evening quiate with Illuminations." (King Charles IPs birthda}')- 

17. 5 mo. 17 14. " Went to Capt. Silk's & gave him 2 guineas for his 
" kindness to me & frds in his beat." This quite confirms the idea put 
forward on page 37. 

30. 5 mo. (July) 17 14. "In y" evening went to Change to Inquire 
" abo' y'^ news but could hear but little certaine." 

31. 5 mo. "In y'= morning w' to y" coffee hous to inquire about 
" y'^ news & y^ report was y^ Q. was dead & it continued till noon 
" y<= same reported, tho' with some not believed. In y« evening it was 
" believed she was a little revived & I hope may recover if God sees 
" it good." 


1. 6 mo. 1714. (After full description of the iMeeting at "y^^ Bull") 
" this morning about 40 minutes past 7 its s^ Q.. Ann dyed & ab' 2, y^ 
" Elector K. George was proclaimed King at Charin X & Temple Barr 
" at 3 & at 5'*^ Exchange ab' 5, y'= gunns going off & I saw y'= flag out at 
" y^ Tower, all things very still. ' 

7. 6 mo. " All things peaceable and quiet and a general satisfaction in 
" o"" new King. South Sea & Bank & India advanced." 

9. 6 mo. W. Tibey sent for me to y'= Cotfee House & told me a very 
" melancholy story &c." 

I suppose that this unfortunate relative had got into debt. There are 
almost daily notes after this of going hither and thither about W. Tibey's 

18. 7 mo. " This afternoon ab' 6 or 7 a clock King George landed at 
" Greenwich. The great gunnes went off & bonfires & illuminations, 

2. 8 mo. 17 14. " In y'= morning at home — about 12 a clock went to 
" y'= Chamber & met frds appointed to deliver our address to y« King." 

4. 8 mo. " In y'^ morning w' with G. Whitehead & severall frds (ab' 
" 40) with o' address to y^ King &. had audience of y^ Prince." I beheve 
that this is a regular observance with the Friends on the accession of a 
new monarch. I remember, as a child, finding some silver buckles for 
fastening knee-breeches, and being told that they were what my Father 
had worn when he went with the Deputation to present an address to 
Queen Victoria on her accession. 

20. 8 mo. (October) 1714. " K. George crowned this day — a fine 
" pleasant day." 

23. 8 mo. " Memorandum. On y^ King's Coronation day there was 
" such numbers of people & high scafTolds builded up over some houses 
" y* tis said 8 scaffolds fell down & killed ab' 20 people and wounded 
" near 100 more." 

14. II mo. (January) 1714/15. "Went to see y*= DredfuU fier it 
" began last night near Bear Kay (quay) which burnt & distroyed near 
" 100 houses & warehouses & much goods. It burnt up towards Tower 
" St. It was a melencoly sight." 

17 14 — I? 15 ELIOT PAPERS 59 

15. II mo. "We have a dredfuU ace' of y<^ damages done by y'= fier 
" 5th day night &: about 20 men found dead by blowing up of houses, &. 
" many wounded &, in ye hospitalls y' had arms & Hmbs broke, besides 
" 20 persons that were in y^ houses when y^ powder first blew up." 

21. II mo. " I & my w (wife) M. & S. w' to see y" Desolation made 
" by y^ fier." 

Such an outburst of fire must have caused intense alarm, while many 
were still living who could remember the Great Fire of London 48 
years before. Apparently the authorities must have quite lost their 
heads, and begun blowing up houses before the inhabitants were out of 
them or the crowd cleared away from the immediate neighbourhood. It 
will be remembered that it had been found in 1666 that the blowing up 
of houses was the only means of stopping the fire until the wind 
changed. Pepys and his friends saved the Navy Office and their own 
homes by getting a gang of dockyard men and blowing up a number of 

27. II mo. "I went to Branford to pole for Barber & Austin & at 
"home about 8. At night y^ High Church* very rampant &. a great 
" difliculty to come to pole." 


22. 2 mo. (April) 1715. "This morning about 9 was an eclips of 
ye Sunn altho' it was a clear sunshiny morning it was about y^ 8th of 
an hour so dark y' we could see very little & was forced to light 
candles. ¥*= Sunn was covered over & looked black and we y' time 
could see y'= Starrs. It looked Hkc moonshine abroad but dark in 
ye shade. I never saw an eclipse like this." 

24. 2 mo. (April) 1715. "Last night some of o^ naly^ put out 
"candles, bye reason thereof y'^ Mobb was very rude &. wicked, swearing 
" & crying out ' High Church & ye D. of Ormond ' and broke ours & 
" o'' Nab'' Darby's & other nabours windows very much." * 

19. 3 mo. "My wife went with little Bella to see Hannabella and 
" Gulielma at Plaistow." 

28. 3 mo. " Ye bells in y'= City rung pretty much &. in y<^ evening was 
"borne fires (! bonfires) & candles out except at 3 or 4 H. Chu (sic. 
" ? High Churchmen's, see note below). In our close all pritty quiat & 
" no mobbish doings on ace* of King Georg's hearth Day. \'ery hot 
" weather." 

* It will be remembered that public opinion was much divided about the succession to the throne ; and 
although King George had succeeded on the death of Queen Anne without any actual rising of the adherents 
of the direct descendants of the Stuarts, a large party in the country were, at heart, Jacobite. 

In Lord Mahon's History of England, Vol. I, page i8, we read: "a very considerable number of the 
High Churchmen began to cast a wistful look of expectation towards St. Germains," and again, page 47, "of 
the Members of the Cabinet, the Jacobites could reckon on Secretary Bromley, and the Dukes of Buckingham 
and Ormonde." 


29. 3 mo. N.B. " Our trained bands went out this evening & was 
" out all night, y": neighbourhood set out candles & y^ Mob was very 
" rude in Smithfield." (King Charles IPs birthday, otherwise called 
" Royal Oak Day.") 

4. 4 mo. " To buy some Tea for my Bro." This was doubtless a 
great luxury. We can wish that he had noted the price of tea as 
carefully as he used to record the price of hops. 

8. 4 mo. 17 15. " Y^ private Comity of Park' made their report this 
" day relating to y^ Peace &c. y^ evening quiet." 

16. 4 mo. " I saw y^ French Schoolmaster whipt by y*^ change for 
" speaking treasonable words against y King." 

We now begin to hear again of the Pretender. It is very interesting 
to see the events of "the 15" with the eyes of a London Citizen. 

19. 5 mo. (July) 1715. " Ab' 7 went again to y'= Coffee House in 
" order to inquire abt y'' report of y<= Pretender's landing in Scotland." 

21.5 mo. " All publick Stocks sunk about 4 per cent & last night & 
" in y'^ forenoon was a g' runn on y'^ Bank afternoon things advanced ab. 
" I pr. cent." 

23. 5 mo. " All stocks fallen near 8 p. cent on acc« of y^ late Riots 
" & a Rumor of y^ Pretenders coming &c." 

26. 5 mo. " In y"^ forenoon about lo a clock I went with M. & S. & 
"great M.B. (M. Bleak) to Hide Park to see y'= soldiers — hors & foot 
" encampt, & crossed over by y*^ corne fields to Chelsey & took a boat to 
" Wandsworth & dyned there, & crossed y" cornefields to Battersey & 
" crossed y^ Water to Chelsey & saw there lodging, & walkt in 
" y^ Carding &: so home by Watter." I imagine that " their lodging " 
means Chelsea Hospital. 

I. 6 mo. 17 15. "In y^ evening candles out & bonfires but no 
" Mobing." 

20. 6 mo. (August) 1715. "The report of y'^ French King's death 
" is confirmed. He dyed last 4th Day ab' 8 in y'= morning (as is said)." 
This was a mistake. Louis XIV died i September 17 15. 

In spite of the serious events taking place in the great outer world, 
the quiet family life goes on as usual. " My wife & M. & S. went 
"to Highgate to dine." "Our folks brewed elder metheglin &c this 
" day." 


21. 7 mo. ''Afternoon to change. x\fairs fallen ah' 6 p. cent on 
" commotions relating to y'' Pretender in Scotland." 

24. 7 mo. " Fair dry weather for y'= Season Publick things fiillen ab' 
" 8 p. cent on account of y^ rising on behalf of y' Pretender in Scotland." 

15. 8 mo. " Stocks fallen on ace' of y« Earl of Mar's being up in 
" Scotland. Bank 125, S.S. (South Sea) 93! ." 

20. 8 mo. " Bells rung & cannon went off on account of y'= coronation 
"of King George : y'= evening there was Illuminations & a Bonfire." 

4. 9 mo. " The evening very quiet : no candles or bonfires here but 
" in y<= high streets our trained bands were out this night." 

5. 9 mo. (November) 17 15, " In y"^ evening was bonfires & 4 ncigh- 
" hours set out candles but we did not. Y'^ evening prity still & so 
" y'^ night." (Gunpowder Plot day). 

12. 9 mo. "Publick afairs fallen about 12 p. cent on ace' of y'= Rebell- 
" ion in y"" North & y<^ Banks calling in 2. 20 pr. cents." 

17.9 mo. " Y<= Mob very mobish in y'= City & 4 or 5 shot dead." 

19. 9 mo. " Stocks advanced about 8 p. ct. this week on ace' of 
" ye Rebels being defeated." 

26. 9 mo. " Severall of y*^ Dutch forses set out yesterday in order to 
"travel down to Scotland. Bank stock ab' 123^, S.S. 93-^ India 134 
" there is a Rep' y^ Pretender is arrived in Scotland." 

9. 10 mo. (December) 17 15. "This afternoon y^ Rebels in number 
" about 200 was brought in 2 or 3 Divisions to London, & some put in 
" Nugate & Fleet & y'= great men put in y<= Tower." 

10. 10 mo. " ¥<■ Rebels above were taken at Preston with about 1200 
" more but these 200 were y^ chiefest men of noat. Y" weather Cool & 
" frosty for many days." 

And so ends the RebeUion of 17 15, and we pass on to the great 


24. 10 mo. (Dec.) 17 15. " I at home all day v" weather extreme cold 
"& y'^ snow that fell 2"^ & 3*^ Day h-es on y" ground prity much. In 
" v'= streets bad going over y'^ kinnels." 

31. 10 mo. " Our Jo" carried by 2 porters to ye Banyer (? bagnio or 
" Turkish Bath) by reason of a g' cold he lost y^ use of his limbs." 

5. II mo. (January) 1715/16. "People went over y^ Thames on 
"y^ Ice." 

7. II mo. O'' Jo" with much difficulty went to y'' Banyer. Cold 
" frosty wether." 

" Memorandum : I went down to Queenhithe & saw several Booths 
" built on y'= Ice and people walking to & fro across y'= Thames." 

14. II mo. " My wife & M. & S. went to y« Thames & saw severall 
" booths like a street built on y<= Thames:" 

21. II mo. "afternoon I went to London Bridge & saw booths & 
" shops as farr as y" Temple but they say there is booths to Chelsey, & 
" below Bridge from about y= Tower booths & many huts & people 
" crossed over. There was they say 2 oxes rosted." 

28. II mo. "It hath moderately thawed & I hear this day many 
" boats was on y' Thames." 

In reading these accounts of fairs formerly held on the ice of the 
Thames, it is not necessary to conclude that the frost was more severe 
than has occurred in our own times, for the diflference really lies in the 
change in London Bridge. Old London Bridge consisted of a great 
number of narrow arches, which stopped the floating ice of the river and 
caused it to pack into a sohd mass above and below the Bridge. The 


wide arches of the present bridge allow the masses to pass freely up and 
down with the tide : hence the extreme rarity of the ice being in such a 
condition that it is even possible to cross the river on its surface : 
though I remember some winters within the last 40 years in which this 
was said to have been done. 

6. 12 mo. (February) 1715/16. " Severall of our neighbours set out 
" candles & y<^ Mob very noisy but did little damage here : we set out no 

16. 12 mo. 1715/16. "I & my wife & 4 elder children w' to Marabel's 
" wedding at y'= Peel. I came home : my W &c w' to y^ dinner at J. 
" Russell's." The bridegroom was Richard Hutcheson, or Hutchenson, 
of Goswell St., Cripplegate. 

18. 12 mo. 1715/16. "Our Cos" Marabel went home this evening: 
" my W. &. 2 child" went with her." This appears to be the end of 
" Great Bell's " honeymoon. 

24. 12 mo. (February) 1715/16. "This day 2 of y" Lords, Derwent- 
" water — " This entry is incomplete. Our Diarist probably intended 
to learn the name of the other Lord (Ken mure) who was executed on 
Tower Hill, but forgot to finish the memorandum. 



15. I mo. 17 16. " My wife & Susie w* this morning to see y^^ schoole 
"at Tatenham." 

It is interesting to see that Tottenham was already a place for schools. 
In the next century there were several well known schools there, not 
only among the Quakers. The school established at Bruce Castle by 
the father and brothers of Sir Rowland Hill enjoyed considerable 
celebrity in the second quarter of the XIX century, before the influ- 
ence of Dr Arnold had infused a new spirit into our great Public 

22. I mo. 1 7 16. " In y'= morning at y<" Bank — y'= G. (General) Court 
to declare y'= Dividend." 

3. 2 mo. 17 16. "This morning my Wife went with Guli to Jo" 
" W™^ at Tatenham & agreed to give 16^ a year & agreed to have 
" Y" Linen home & y'= spoon when she comes home." 

II. 2 mo. " W"> Meakins came this evening to live with us : to give 
" him 6£ y^ 1st y'' & advance 20s. p'' y'' for 7 years — y' is y" 7th y'' at 
"12;^ p. y"' & to have a covenant as from my other servants." 

22. 2 mo. " afternoon we at ye Peel. Bell's Mother spoke concerning 
"&c." I suppose this means the bride's mother-in-law, for Mariabella 
Bleak seems to have been an orphan. 

29. 2 mo. "after y" Meeting I went to Tatenham to see Gulli : " 

8. 3 mo. " at y'= Bank about y'= circulation." 

18. 3 Mo. " My w. & child;' went to Jo" W™^ with little Bell." 


Now we come to an event even more interesting than Great Bell's 
wedding — namely : the first love affitir among Peter Briggins' own 

26. 3 mo. (May) 1716. "to y<' yrly. Meetingy. Barber- s fat h'' acqt'' us 
" of his sons intentions." I have an idea that this is not the only 
instance in Quaker history when the great annual gathering has been an 
opportunity for match-making ! 

28. 3 mo. "J.B. spake his mind to our Da'' Mercy." (A marginal 
note also says "J.B. acq' my D"' M. of his love &c.") 

29. 3 mo. "at ye yrly Mtg. G.W. (George Whitehead) spk. I think 
near 2 hours concerning y'= dealing of y"^ Lord with him from his youth 
& of ye soar enemies & afflictions y' y^ Lord's people met withall in 
the morning of his day, & of his share amongst y" (he spake not 
bostingly) as also of his service in attending on y^ King & Govern- 
ment in K. Ch. time for y^ Releas offrd. under Preminer (Praemunire?) 
(see page 13) as also his labor of love with many other worthy frds 
in procuring ease relating to suferings for not swearing &c. & how we 
ought to be truly thankful to God & y'^ Goverment for favours receaved, 
&c. He concluded y^ Meeting. N.B. As I came home I met a 
grate many Ordnary men with bunches of Oak in there hats & Clubs 
in there hands, 3 or 4 in a company." 

" Ye nab" mostly set out candles but we none this n' nor last. O'' gates 
was shut ab* 9 a clock* things quiet. Heatly & Dr. Boterel set out 

The 29th of May was the birthday of Charles II, and the bunches of 
oak were in remembrance of the Boscobel Oak. These "ordnary men" 
were humble adherents of the Jacobite party. The day probably 
suggested to Geo. Whitehead the subject of his interesting sermon. 

8th & 9th 4 mo. 17 16. Our Diarist relates how he was taken ill 
with violent internal pains, for which he took Daffy's Elixir, and a little 
" surfeit water." 

II. 4 mo. 1716. "at y<^ Coffe house & advised with Dr. ffreman 
"abt my Distemper." 

* Bartholomew Close was a true " Close " with the entrances guarded by gates (being the precinct of 
the Priory of St. Bartholomew, alienated at the Reformation) -. when these were shut the City mob would be 
kept out. One of these gates remains near Great St. Bartholomew's Church, and one or two more in 
p.issages running into Long Lane. 


Apparently it was the custom for the doctor to sit at the Coffee 
House and receive his patients. In picturing to ourselves London life 
at this time the Coffee House must take a most prominent place. It was 
the universal place of meeting for business, for gossip, for intellectual 
society and for the day's news. It combined the functions now 
discharged by the Merchant's Office, the West End Club, the Doctor's 
Consuhing Room, and the newspaper. A few — a very few — of the old 
rooms remain much as they were, but they are fast disappearing. The 
internal fittings of the celebrated " Cock " at Temple Bar were, very 
wisely, reinstated in a room of its successor on the south side of the 
Strand when the old building was pulled down, and the visitor can form 
some idea of the appearance of the original room with its carved mantle- 
piece and narrow mahogany tables divided from each other by high 
partitions surmounted with curtains on brass rods. The London 
citizen or "wit" of the XVIII century does not seem to have cared 
much for light or air ; for the Coffee Houses which remained till the 
present century have, without exception, dark, low-ceihnged rooms, 
wonderfully warm and cosy in winter, but very close in summer. Many 
which remained, little altered, 30 years ago have now disappeared. 

16. 4 mo. 17 16. "Yesterday afternoon J. Barber w' with R'^. How 
" towards Dover." ■* Here we have another lover coming on to the scene. 
It is amusing to picture the accepted lover of Mercy and the anxious 
suitor for Susanna riding together and to imagine their mutual 
confidences. " O'' children " seem to have been very attractive girls, for 
they all married well, and two of them early in life. We can well 
beheve that the}' carried an atmosphere of love and peace from the old 
home — to say nothing of Bank and East India and South Sea Stock ! 

27. 4 mo. 17 16. " My wife brought home G. & little Marabel." 

II. 5 mo. " My wife went with G. & Bella to Jon. W'"^ at Tatnam, 
" having been at home 2 wks. Thos. Hands came this day on likeing." 

22. 5 mo. "After M'g we & R. Hutchison & wifet went to Tatnam 
" & saw G. & Marabel & so home all y'= way on foot." 

13. 6 mo. "J. Barber came after noon." 

18. 6 mo. "This morning our Betty Bower departed this life of 
" y^ Smallpox after 7 days illness." 

* J. Barber .iiid R. How were first cousins, 
t " Great Bell," see page 66. 


20. 6 mo. " ab' 6 this evening my wife and daughter w' to 7*= Peel 
" to accompany our late Betty to y'= ground. We had 4 coaches. 
" R. Claridge spk at y'= Grave." 

25. 6 mo. 17 16. I at home aforenoon after went to change & to 
"y'^ Coffe House & to W"". Okeys to bye a ticket for my bro'' in 
" y^ Dutch Lottery." 

This is the last entry in the Diary. Doubtless a later volume is 
missing, for although Peter Briggins does not appear to have been quite 
in good health there is no break in his regular habits. 

He died the next year, on the 27th September, 17 17, leaving a memo- 
randum for his " dear and tender children," which we may regard as his 
spiritual will and testament, and this was carefully copied out by each 
member of the family, so that several copies have reached us besides the 
original. As regards outward matters he evidently left his wife and 
daughters with no small provision well invested in freehold property and 
stocks. His widow took up her burden with the spirit which we should 
expect from the daughter of such a mother, and she also, when she 
passed away on the 25th January, 1756, left a memorandum of loving 
advice, written a few years after she lost her husband. It is worthy of 
remark that that rather stern and quarrelsome old gentleman, John 
Eliot (I) seems to have had an affectionate regard for her, mentioning 
her in his account books as " Sister Briggins." 


The five sisters married as follows : — 

Mercy Briggins — born 7 Aug. 1696 — married on the 26 Oct. 17 1'/ 
Joseph Barber of Ampthill " who hved upon his estate and was an 
intimate acquaintance of the late Duke of Bedford '" — (Note by the late 
R. How) — they had one son, Thomas Farmborough Barber, and four 
daughters, but the family died out in the next generation. 

Susanna Briggins'' — born 3 Sep. 1697 — married Richard Hoiv oi 
Gracechurch Street, London, and of Aspley Guise in Bedfordshire, on 
the 2 January, 17 17/ 18 — they left two sons, Richard How and Briggins 
How — who both left descendants, but none of the name of How 
survive. Briggins How's family is now extinct, and Richard How's 
family is represented by Dr John Gregory White, of Bournemouth, and 
his children, and by the children and grandchildren of Silena White, who 
married John Shipley EUis, of Leicester — these are all descended from 
R. How's daughter Mariabella, who married Gabriel Gregory White 
in 1796. 

Mr F. Lucas, of Hitchin, has kindly sent me the following personal 
particulars of the second Richard How, which were given him by the 
late Richard Edward White, R. How's grandson. 

* In the Parish Register of St. Bartliolomew the Great, the birth of Susanna Briggins appears on the 
page opposite that which registers the baptism of William Hogarth, the artist. Just below is the birth of a 
child " next door to Mr Briggins the Quakers." A careful study of these Registers, which have only 
recently come under my notice, might reveal many other mentions of the family. 


" He did not make the appearance of a Friend, but wore a shovel hat 
"and a claret coloured coat: rose early, breakfasted at 6 by himself: 
"always smoked one pipe of tobacco before breakfast. His other meals 
" he took with the family : kept a diary in shorthand, which, as also his 
" very copious Adversaria, the late W™. Fitzhow destroyed. When 
" Richard How walked out which he regularly did for exercise whenever 
" the weather permitted, he had a handsome full wig, and always walked 
" some little distance in advance of anyone who might happen to accom- 
" pany him." 

Other papers and letters which have come under my notice show him 
to have been a man of great culture, and of such high character as to be 
held in much reverence by those who knew him. It would be well if 
some account of his life could be published. His correspondence was 
copious and his handwriting of unusual beauty. His large library (partly 
inherited, I believe, from his father) was rich in old Bibles and decorated 
with valuable china. 

Hannahbella Briggins, born 9 Oct., 1701 — married John Bell of 
Lombard Street, Merchant, on the 6 Aug., 1740, and died without 

Gulielma Briggins, born 27 June, 1704 — married Daniel Zachary, 
" Citizen and Skinner and Lord of the Manor of Areley Kings in 
Worcestershire," on March i, 1734/5. She died without issue in 1745, 
and he married again. From his second marriage were descended the 
Zacharys of Areley Kings, who are now represented by Sampson 
Zachary Lloyd, of Areley Kings, and the Zacharys of Cirencester and 
elsewhere. His second wife was Elizabeth, daughter of Henry Clark, 
of Chipping Norton, Oxon. 

Mariabella Fartnborough Briggins, born 23 February, 1708/9 — 
married on the 1 1 April, \']'^\,John Eliot, (II), of Garlick Hill, London, 
(see part I, page 8). 


Peter Briggins to his daughters at school. (Mercy was 13 years old 
and Susanna 12), 

" Bartholomew Close y"= 
25 of II mo. called January 1709. 
" Dear Children 

Last night we rec'' a letter from you as also something y' was 
" acceptable to your little sisters ; we are glad to hear you are well as we 
" all are at present through the Lord's great goodness : as to what you 
" write you want, your Mother designes to provide and also to come to 
" see you and bring them with hir about this Day weeke. 

" Dear Children be shure to fear y^ Lord & live in love & be ready to 
" assist & direct each other & strive which of you to love y^ other best, 
" & then your buisness will goe on with cherefuUness. Do not forget 
" your verses, but often hear one another say them and consider of them 
" and meditate on them, and it will be no hinderance to you in other 
" afairs, &; in Doing and observing those things y'= Lord's blessings will 
" be great & manyfold unto you, & you will be your Mothers & my 
" comfort, and in true love to you I remain Your loving Father 

Peter Briggins 
" Our loves is to your Mr. & Mrs. & to all y« family. 
" I have bought for 3'ou 2 prity J pint mugs Your Mother designes 
" to bring them with hir. 

" I have sent you some chesnuts." 

Addressed " to Mercy &. Susanna Briggins." 


" Bartholomew Close 
2<^ Day about 1 1 a clock 
afoarnoon y"^ 19 of 12 mo. 17 10. 
" Dear Children 

" This may let you know y' I got well home last night & we 
" are all through y"-' Lords goodness well in health except your Cousin 
" Marabel. 

" I desire you may retaine in you minds ye good advise y' we hear at 
" Meetings : y*^ friend spoake yesterday concerning y' we all come to 
" know a labouring in y'= Lord's vineyard." 

" Dear children live in love & be ready &. wiUing to assist each other 
" in what you cann & do not expose one anothers weakness but tell one 
" another of it in Love & tenderness. 

" Your Grandfather, Uncle & your Sisters loves is to you, & your 
" Couzen Marabels love is to you. So with mine & your Mother's Dear 
" love to you, desiering you may goe forwards with your work with 
" Chearfullness, for while your hands are about your works* your minds 
" may be on the Lord & on those things which will be to y"' comfort & 
" well being for ever, & often as you have time read in your books & 
" consider of what you have learned & read & do not let good things 
" slip out of your minds. 

" So with my Dear love to you : I remaine Your Loving father 

Peter Briggins." 

" Our loves is to yo'' Mr. & Mrs. & to Edith & to all y^ family. I have 
" sent you a Puff: I had 2, but I tho' you s'^ you did not much matter(?) 
" them. So I have sent you one & yC sisters had y^ other. Warm it 
" before y'= fyer. We have no white pudings nor oat cakes at present : 
" when we have, I think to send you some." 


On the original is written, " I desire my children may read often & 
" keep copies of y^ same by them." 
" Dear and Tender Children, 

" First, live all in a fear of offending almighty God your 
" Creator Sc mind the witness of God in your own Consciences that will 

' Apparently much of their time was spent in needlework. 


" teach and guide to use all things in this World to his Glory ; which 
"above all things in this World have a special regard unto, & in so 
" doing God's Blessings will be on you here & hereafter : as to what 
" Worldly Estate it hath pleased the Lord to give me which I leave you 
"to enjoy; be not puft up in Pride and in Vain Glory, but rather be 
" Humble ; for the Lord gives grace to the Humble ; and esteem 
" all as great mercies, as through the Lord's Goodness I and your 
" dear Mother have done, to be partakers of the Comforts of this Life 
" which are only truly enjoyed in the Lord, for without him there is 
" no true satisfaction in any thing ; and secondly, have a dutiful regard 
" & tender Affection to your tender .Mother & in so doing it will endear 
" her Love to you the more which will be to her and your great 
" Comfort. 

" Dear Children be CarefuU in your affairs in this World to be sparing 
" in your Expences that you live not beyond your Income, for I have 
" seen many that have had much of this World left them, for want of 
" a diligent Care therein have come to be poor and miserable ; and in 
" Matters of great Weight, let your desires be to the Lord to direct you ; 
" and as to Marriage if your dear Mother be living advise with her and 
" also take the advice of your Relations that you know love you, and of 
" the Overseers of my Will in any affiiir of moment, and as to Marriage, 
" have most regard to one that truly fears the Lord, and is of good 
" Parentage, and hath a good education, and Pretty near equal Estate as 
" to the outward : And I Earnestly desire and request you to help one 
" another, that through losses or disappointments in this World may be 
" reduced to Necessity : do not shut up your bowells of Compassion to 
" your own flesh & blood but succour and assist them as Joseph did his 
" Brethren. If you live in his fear you will see your Duty, first to the 
" Lord and to your dear and near Relations especially and to all that 
" may want assistance, and in so doing the Lord's blessing will be on 
" you all abundantly ; for they that give to the poor lend to the Lord 
" and he will repay an Hundred fold in this World, and in the World to 
" come great Riches for ever. 

" My Heart's desire &. Breathing to the Lord is, that his Blessing may 
" rest on all and every one of you, and that his secret arm of Power 
" may support vou through all troubles & difficulties you may meet 
"withal in this World, and in the end give you an entrance into his 


" Heavenly Kingdom, where I hope I am Travelling towards, and shall 
" attain unto & receive in the End the answer of well done good and 
" faithful servant enter into the joy of thy Lord ; thou hast been 
" faithful in a little I'll make thee ruler over more, and as it is the desire 
" for myself, it is the same for you, and to the Lord I comend you 
" And am 

" your truly loving aflFectionate tender 
" Father 
" Peter Briggins." 

From Mariabella Briggins to her children. 
" Dear children 

" Hertily wishing all your wellfaire every way as my own 
" both here and hereafter I Desire and Recommend to you that you 
" would often Read over your Deare Fathers Good advise & Counsell to 
" you & Pracktis Itt every way. Then no dought But God Allmighty 
" will please to bestoe His Blessings still on you as you daily put up 
"your sincere Petitions to Him. Our Good God Hath Promised to 
" Bee a Father to the Fatherless But it is to such as are truly Desirous 
" to Bee His Children. If His Children then obeying His commands 
" you must Love the Lord your God with all your Heart & one another 
" as yourselves. It is said Blessed are the Peace Makers for they shall 
" Bee called the children of God. It is allso said God will Honnour 
" them that Honour Him. Dear children consider there is noe Love 
" nor Honour to be compaired with that which our Good God Bestoes 
" on His Children That truly Fears to offend Him. For it is Lasting 
"and not Changable as all things Here beloe are. Theirfore Deare 
" Children Pray consider that you take care to doe nothing to offend 
" nor Dishonour soe mercifuU a Father &: soe compationate & gratious 
" God that Hath Daily Provided Plentifully Every way for you 
" Hitherto, Far beyond what He hath beestowed on many others. 
" Dear Children I hertily Desire you may be truly sensible then 
"there will bee grateful acknowledgments continually in your Hearts 
" admiring the wonderfull Love & Kindness of God. 

" Dear Children I did not think of being soe Large at this Time But 
" I can truly say It is in y<^ abounding of True Love to you all. For I 


" thought to have Done and saidc noe more after this manner But T 
" thought itt my duty as it came fresh into my mind to Put you in Mind 
" of our Blessed Saviour's words when Hee was in this Trobelsom 
"world. Though Hee went up & down doing Good yet Hoe was 
" Reviled & they spoke all manner of Evill against Him. Then what 
" must such poore creatures expect that are in noe comparison to Him 
"that did not sinn nor guile found in His mouth. But Hee knew very 
" well what Hee said when Hee told His Disciples & Followers " In y^ 
"world they should have Trouble But in Him Peace" as we Endeavor 
"to keep Him our Friend by no wayes olTending Him : then wee may 
" have Hope that Hee may please to beare us up over all our Troubles 
" if we doe not bring them willfully on your selves by turning your 
" Backs on your Good Guide. . . . 

" Hee is all sufficient to keep & preserve you safe through this 
" Trobelsom world while heare, and hearafter conduct you to Heaven & 
" Hapyness for evermore. O happy Change — indeed what I desire for 
" you all Dear Children as for my own soul Faire Well in y^ Lord." 

" 1725/6 February y« 7th This Paper wrote by Your Dear Mother 
" in true love to you all 

" By M. Briggins." 
endorsed, in very small writing 

" M.B's privet instructions." 

I hope that my readers will share the regret which I feel in parting 
from Peter and Mariabella Briggins and their five daughters, after 
spending much time in their company. It was evidently a happy family 
bound together by the tenderest love. If we wish to know how the 
daughters remembered their father's loving counsels and carried them 
out in their own homes, we may recall the description of " little Bell's " 
short married life on page 10 of Vol. I. "They dearly loved each 
" other and it was impossible to know which loved best, each striving to 
" outdo each other." 


John Eliot married Mary Weston 14 August, 1762. (See Vol. I. 

P- 79)- 

It will have been observed from the remarks in the first volume of 
these papers, p. 78, that I accepted as authentic a pedigree of the Weston 
family, printed some thirty years ago by Miss Ann Stephenson, a 
descendant of the Westons. According to this pedigree the fomily is 
traced back to a Bethel Weston, fifth son of Richard, the first Lord 
Weston, and Earl of Portland, of whom we read so much in Clarendon's 
History of the RebeUion. I must acknowledge that the theory possessed 
great attractions. It was very tempting to trace out in the pages of 
Clarendon, Pepys, and other contemporary writers the story of the rapid 
rise and almost equally rapid fall of this great family, and to picture the 
youngest son, who was probably by rights heir to the title, turning his 
back upon camps and courts, and joining the followers of George Fox. 
But a more complete examination of the subject compels me to admit 
that the position is untenable. All the accepted authorities such as the 
Heralds' College, Burke, Doyle, &c., give a list of the sons of Richard 
Lord Weston, which differs most materially from that given by Miss 
Stephenson, and in none of them can I find any mention whatever of a 
son named Bethel. This fact alone, however, would not have been con- 
clusive to my own mind, for we know that the pruning knife is apt to be 
applied unsparingly to noble pedigrees, and the slur of Quakerism might 
be quite sufficient to cause a younger son's name to be carefully excised. 
But unfortunately for the theory the name of Bethel (or Bethell) 


appears clearly to come into the Weston family from quite another 
quarter : perhaps not less honourable, but certainly less aristocratic — no 
" perillustris Dominus Comes Portlandiae " but a sober Quaker* 
non comes sed amicus I Our history may therefore begin with that 
treasury of worthy names, " Besse's Sufferings of the Quakers." (Vol. 
II, 483. Ireland, 1683). 

" We shall next subjoin some of the Names of eminent Persons, who 
" on the Behalf of themselves and their Brethren were admitted 
" frequently to apply to the Earl of Tyrconnell and who by their 
" singular Diligence and Christian Courage were of singular Service in 
" advocating the cause of many in affliction for the sake of their religious 
" Testimony in this Kingdom, viz — " Then follow various names 
including : 

"Thomas Weston of New Garden near Artley" — which is doubtless 
a misprint for Athy, Co. Kildare. 

This is the Thomas Weston, who according to Miss Stephenson was 
son of a Bethel Weston, youngest son of the first Lord Weston. But 
the Registers of the Society of Friends (in Dublin), which may usually 
be accepted as accurate authorities, state that he was the son of Edward 
Weston, of Banbury, in Oxfordshire — which is confirmed by the 
frequent appearance of the name of Edward Weston in the Parish 
Registers of Banbury in the XVII Century (in 1650 he appears to have 
buried hvo wives I one in May and one in December). 

Thomas Weston was born in Banbury 19/1/1636, and appears to have 
moved to Ireland early in life, for another History tells us that he was 
" convinced " of the principles of the Society through some Friends 
who visited Co. Carlow about 1657. In 1660 he married Sarah, 
daughter of Bethell Grimes,t of Burton Dassett, Warwickshire. So here 
we find the origin of the name which was given to his fifth child born 

* I am indebted to my cousin, Henry How<ird, of Stone House, near Kidderminster, for first drawing my 
.attention to these corrections. There are other manifest inaccuracies in Miss Stephenson's pedigree which 
I have not thought it wortli while to enter upon. 

i- In George Fox's Journals we meet, in 1656 and 1660, with a Colonel Grimes, apparently a Quaker, 
certainly a kind friend of the Quakers. It has been suggested that this may have been the Bethell Grimes 
in question, but Col. Grimes certainly lived very near the City of Gloucester, and Burton Dassett is on the 
further side of Warwickshire. There seems some curious connection between the names of Grimes and 
Graham, for a well-known family in Scotland of tlie same d.-ite were known by both names. (See 
" Graham or Grimes " in Diet, of National Biography). 

1636— 1695 ELIOT PAPERS 81 

Bethell Weston married (27/4/1693) Deborah, daughter of Peregrine 
Musgrave, of Haverfordwest.* The marriage certificate is still in 
existence and bears the signatures of various Westons, Musgraves, and 
Lewises. The young couple settled first in Dublin and afterwards 
moved to Haverfordwest. Not long after their marriage the bride's father 
addressed to them a letter of excellent advice, from which I am able to 
give some extracts, copies having been carefully handed down by their 
descendants. In days when religious literature was not quite so multi- 
tudinous as it now is, it was the custom in pious families for succeeding 
generations to make copies for their own use and edification of any 
family paper which contained specially useful exhortations. This was 
the practice as we have seen in the Briggins family, and doubtless in many 
others. These papers came home to their hearts much more forcibly 
than a " booklet " — one of many — which is read and then put aside for 
another and then another, as is the case in the present day. 

Haverfordwest, the 14th 4 Mo. 1695. 
Dear Be and Deb. 

" I need not tell you that you are often in our remembrance, 
I suppose you are not ignorant in (of) it, but can no less than tell 
you, the most weighty matter that rests on us relating to you is, as the 
Lord has been good to your Parents in visiting them in the morning 
and breaking forth of his everlasting Day, and has in a large measure 
preserved them through many trials and deep exercises, and to this 
very moment some can say in truth, The Glory of the Lord is not 
departed from us. Oh ! this is more than words or bare profession. 
And now, dear Children, the present concern that is upon me, is to 
mind you of the tender care that your Parents had over you, whilst 
you were under their tuition ; and now are you separated and at a 
distance from them, and if you be not mindful of the Lord, and come 
to be seasoned by the Truth, you will be carried away by the common 
stream of Vanity, and leavened into the spirit of this World ; which 
brings inward death and barrenness, and separates from the enjoyment 
of God's presence ; therefore, dear Children, I counsel and tenderly 
advise you, in bowels of love, to be inward and weightily concerned in 

* Son of Ernestus Musgrave, of Cardiganshire. 


your spirits before the Lord, both in Meetings and elsewhere, and 
settle down with God's Gift in yourselves, and be sincere-hearted 
before him ; and in all your business and conversation in the World, 
mind the seasoning virtue of Truth, that you may be preserved sweet 
and savory, solid and weighty, answering the witness of God in your- 
selves and others ; and as you are thus preserved in true watchfulness 
in thought, word, and deed, your hearts will be approved in secret, 
and when you come to sit in a Meeting, the Lord will be near, the life 
will spring up, and the unity you will feel which all the faithful are 
gathered into, and it is sweet and precious, and the increase of it is more 
to be travailed for and valued than the increase of all outward enjoy- 
ments. I know not of anything in this world that I more desire and 
earnestly beg of the Lord before I go hence, than to see you and the 
rest of my Children Hving witnesses, settled and grown strong in the 
Truth, having on the whole armour, making war with the Enemy in all 
his secret appearances. If thus you be found, I know the Lord will 
bless you, and as to the outward, I am satisfied it will be well. My 
heart is tendered at this time, as at many other times, in the remem- 
brance of you, and if I never see your faces more, this I leave in 
charge with you, be sure love the Lord above all that is here below, 
and be careful in all things to answer his requirings. Keep carefully 
to the Meetings, and when there, have an eye to your profitable 
exercise, and be not idle, with your minds abroad. Be sure take the 
counsel and advice of honest Friends, and do not give way to any 
prejudice or the least sweUing in the secret of your minds against any, 
though there might offence (as appearing to you) be justly given you ; 
yet if you should give way to any such thing, I well know it will be as 
a secret canker, destroying every appearance of good. I commit you 
to the Lord, and to the word of his power which is able to preserve 
you to the end. 

" I desire you give the remembrance of my dear love to Rog'' Roberts, 
A. Sharp, A. Strettle, Ed. Webb, Evan Bevan, Will'" Allen, and their 
several Wives, to your Father & Mother Weston, both your Bro. and 
their Wives, and to other friends as you think fit. 
" I conclude 

" Your loving Father 
' To Bethell Weston " P. Musgrave 



Bcthell and Deborah Weston had numerous children, some of whom 
died in infancy (as so frequently happened in those days). Two of the 
sons, Peregrine and Edward, settled in Philadelphia, whither also some 
of their Musgrave relations proceeded. At the end of the family came 
Daniel Weston, born 21 Sep. 1707, and Lewis Weston, born 1 7 10. 
These two brothers appear to have been in partnership as Coopers, at 
Wapping. Daniel married Mary Pace, daughter of Thomas Pace, of 
Southwark, Linen Draper, and of her we shall have much to say 
presently. He died in 1 755, leaving one daughter Mary, born at 
Wapping, on the 17th August, 1743. (See Vol. I, pp. 73, &c). This 
httlc orphan Polly in due time became the wife of John Eliot III, when 
she was about 19 years old. 

Note. — I do not know the date of Bethell Weston's death, but his 
widow was married again to — Thomas. I have a curious letter in her 
handwriting dated 25. I mo. 1745, addressed to her daughter-in-law, 
Mary Weston (nee Pace) beginning " Dear Molsy." It is signed " Deb. 
Thomas," and endorsed " Mother Thomas." 

Before proceeding with the history of Daniel Weston's family, with 
which we have most to do, we may note that Lewis Weston afterwards 
settled at Walthamstow. He had several children, one of whom, Sarah, 
married William Dillwyn, himself an ofTspring of the Musgraves, and 
thev left various descendants. 




The interest of the Weston family in this period centres chiefly in the 
personahty of Mary Pace, who married Daniel Weston on the 29th Oct. 
1 741. She must have been for many years a conspicuous figure among 
the Society of Friends; and her son-in-law, John EHot, has been 
careful to preserve her Journals, which he copied into a large folio 
volume. These Journals are so voluminous that it is impossible to do 
more than to give a brief outline of their contents, but those who are 
interested in the history of the American Colonies in the middle of the 
XVIII century would find them worthy of very careful study. It may 
be well to say at once that they are not as interesting reading as they 
might be. The excellent lady records her adventures in such a 
restrained manner that she carefully omits all picturesque detail : and, 
had we only these records on which to form an opinion, we might be 
tempted to think that the human side of her character was too much 
subordinated to the spiritual. But happily we have also some of the 
letters written to her husband during her American journeys, and it is 
most touching to compare the out-pourings of wifely and motherly love 
and yearning (for she had left her little daughter as well as her husband 
at home) with the matter of fact Diaries of her travels and ministrations. 
We must bear this in mind as we accompany her in her journeyings. 

It will be strange to anyone who is not well acquainted with the views 
and practice of the Quakers to picture a delicately nurtured young 
woman undertaking long journeys on horseback to the remotest parts 


of England, and, later in life, when a wife and mother, crossing the seas 
to visit almost every portion of the scattered Colonies of America, for 
no other purpose than to preach and to build up the Religious Society 
to which she belonged. But we must bear in mind that the Society of 
Friends has, from its first beginning, regarded women as competent 
to undertake the office of Christian Ministry. It would be quite 
a mistake to suppose that, because the Friends permit any person 
who feels impelled thereto to address their Meetings, they have no 
regular Ministry. They have always had a very well organised 
system of " recognizing " as ministers those who have proved themselves 
specially qualified. In every Meeting House there are rows of raised 
seats along the end which faces the congregation ; and those persons 
who are recognised as Ministers have the right to sit in the upper row, 
the men on one side, the women on the other. Below them sit another 
order called Elders, men and women, who are not themselves preachers, 
but who are appointed to give advice to young preachers, (and, perhaps 
specially, to discourage those whose exhortations are not found 
acceptable.) A third order are called Overseers, whose duty is to look 
after the Members generally. All these appointments are made according 
to duly prescribed form by their " Monthly Meetings " for Church 

When a Minister — 'either man or woman — " feels a concern " — or in 
other words feels compelled by a conscientious duty — to undertake 
Mission Journeys to other Meetings, the matter is laid before the 
" Monthly Meeting " and fully considered. Sometimes these proposals 
prove sufficiently embarrassing to the other Friends, who do not 
consider the minister in question fully qualified for the task, and no 
small tact is called out in gently repressing the well-intended oflFer. But 
when they approve of the proposed Mission, they furnish the Minister 
with letters commendatory known as " certificates," so that the Meetings 
visited may know that he or she is a duly authorised and approved 

Moreover, in order that a rich Minister may have no preference over 
a poor one in this matter, it is, I beheve, customary in all cases for the 

* The " Monthly Meeting " is the Unit of Church Discipline. These are grouped into " Quarterly 
Meetings" for larger areas, which report to the " Yearly Meeting" or General Assembly for the whole country. 


Society to pay the needful travelling expenses, while lodging is generally 
(if not always) provided by the Friends who are thus visited. By this 
means intercommunication and sympathy are kept up between the 
various scattered assemblies of the Body, and small Meetings where 
there may be no efficient Ministers are refreshed and instructed. Some- 
times these Missions appear to be entirely for the building up of the 
existing Members of the Society, but often they include public preaching 
in the places visited. This was probably far more generally the case 
formerly than it is now. We must therefore picture Mary Pace (or 
Mary Weston) as a duly recognised and appointed Minister of her 
Religious Society, travelling with the approval and sympathy of the 
Governing Body of that Society. She must have been a woman of 
vigorous mind and equally vigorous body, to undergo the hardships to 
which she was exposed. Probably many of her descendants, if it were 
possible for them to hear her preaching, would find it very different 
from anything to which they are accustomed in the present day. The 
difficulty of making the female voice heard in large assembhes led 
(probably insensibly) to the habit of speaking in a highly pitched and 
unnatural voice approaching to a chant — sometimes musical in its 
cadence and sometimes much the reverse. Within my remembrance 
this was almost universal among women preachers, and very general 
among men, who had not the same excuse for the peculiarity. I think 
that there grew up an idea that it was not quite reverent to speak of 
sacred matters in the ordinary work-a-day voice. I believe that, in the 
present day, it is generally recognised among the Ministers of the Society 
that an unaffected voice is far more likely to reach the hearts of the 
hearers than a tone which is evidently not the natural one. 


"I was born in the year 1712, second mo. nth of honest Parents 
'' who Hved in good Reputation among their Neighbours and were much 
' esteemed by those they dealt with, being punctual in their Payments 
'and just in their Dealings: carrying on a considerable Branch of 

■ Business in the Linnen Drapery Way, and brought up their six children 

■ in a very handsome manner. But through the multiplicity of Business 
and a close Confinement to the Shop, neglected the strict Education of 

' us in various Branches of that Christian Testimony we as a People hold 
forth to the World, and by that means made hard Work for me when 
it pleased the God of Truth graciously to visit my Soul and discover the 
self-denying Path I was to walk in if I would obtain Eternal Life. And 
that was the Bent and Pursuit of my Mind, Night and Day — whatever 
I went through in this Life, that I might but enjoy a blessed 
Eternity — for those Words, never ending Eternity, were of inexpres- 
ible Weight to me " 

1735 (she being then 23 years old.) 

" The first Journey I went on a religious Account was in Company 
with Elizabeth Hutchinson of Cork in Ireland and A. Bowles of Wood- 
house in the same Nation : which Friends came over to England on a 
religious Visit and travelled through most Parts thereof. Who 
having a tender Sympathy with me in my infant State of the Ministrj^ 
considering the Difficulties I had struggled through in giving up to 
that weighty Work being poorly in Health, proposed my going with 
them to a few Meetings in Kent and Sussex which, on duly weighing, 
having the Approbation of Friends therein, I found Freedom to do." 


They ride to Rochester, 28 miles, dining at Dartford. Thence to 
Canterbury, 25 miles. Then to Dover, 15 miles — where they lodge at 
the house of Luke Howard. He was a well-known Member of the 
Society, and there is httle doubt that Luke Howard who married 
Mariabella Ehot in 1796, (see Vol. L p. 109, &c.) was named after him 
but there is no proof that he was actually a relation. Thence to 
Folkstone, where "a drowsy spirit mightily prevailed to the great 
" affliction of our Souls. We were concerned to speak closely to them 
" on that Subject, as we found great deficiency in their Discipline." 
Then to Ashford and Cranbrook, where they found "a drowsy company 
" of professors who seemed to sit at ease without possessing the Life 
" of Truth." 

And so on through Sussex to Brighthelmstone, where they " had also 
"a word of reproof to give to the lukewarm & indolent ones, who 
" brought a sensible pain over our minds, yet the Meeting ended well." 
After visiting some other places they attend a " Quarterly Meeting " at 
Ifield, where they appear to have had more satisfactory Meetings. Every 
town or village throughout Sussex and part of Surrey is evidently 
visited in turn, and at length they reach London again on nth of 5th 
month, having been travelling for about 5 weeks. 

We find notices of two or three short visitations, and then in 1737 
on the "7th day of the 4th month" she sets out for a journey which was 
not completed till " the 3rd of the loth month," having been absent from 
home " six months all but 3 days." 

She rides backwards and forwards to meetings in Hertfordshire and 
Bedfordshire, and thence through Northamptonshire, Warwickshire, 
Staffordshire, and Cheshire to Lancashire and Westmoreland, where she 
spends much time around Kendal. Thence through Cumberland to the 
Border, where for once she gives up one day to satisfy her curiosity. 
" We had a desire to see some part of Scotland & went over the River 
" to Grattney Green (!) where we dined & spent some time, then returned 
" to our old lodgings where we were met by our dear Friend R. Wilson." 
We may smile at her choosing this classic spot as the one place in 
Scotland which she visited, but the reason which led her to select 
Gretna Green for a visit was precisely the same that led so many others 
thither, though with a much more practical object than the satisfaction 
of an innocent curiosity to " see some part of Scotland." That which 


has rendered Gretna Green so celebrated was the simple fact that it was 
the first village over the border on one of the main North roads, and, 
being over the border, the Scottish laws of marriage were in force 
there — which laws being remarkably primitive in their simplicity enabled 
the runaway couples to become legally united by the simple acknowledg- 
ment of each other before witnesses. The celebrated " blacksmith," 
John Paisley, was not on the scene till 1760, and perhaps in 1737 
Gretna Green had not yet gained its peculiar celebrity. The Scottish 
General Assembly tried in vain, in 1826, to put an end to the extraor- 
dinary system, but it required an Act of ParHament in 1856 to make 
the Gretna Green marriages illegal unless one of the parties had lived 
in Scotland for 21 days. But I do not think that the blacksmith's 
successor — one Elliott — did much business after the advent of 

To return to the more serious subject of Mary Pace and her 
journeyings. It is extremely interesting to note how very many names 
which she mentions as those of " Friends " who assisted her in her 
mission, still hold an honourable place in the same localities. Thus at 
Luton " We had a Meeting this evening ab' 6th Hour at David Brown's 
" in his Malthouse to which many of the Neighbours came and behaved 
" very soberly: it was a sohd, good Meeting and a seasonable Opportunity 
" to declare the Doctrine of Truth. ..." 

In and around Kendal we meet with many well-known and honoured 
names — Braithwaitcs, Birkbecks, Wilsons, Crewdsons, Dillworths, Bells, 
Harrises, and the like. Doubtless a reader who was well acquainted 
with the names of existing Quaker families throughout the country 
would meet with famihar names in most of the places visited. 

The journey being so extended, the companion with whom she began 
her Mission, Mary Roake, was unable to go further North than Kendal, 
and after that Mary Pace seems to have been accompanied by various 
ministering women from place to place. It is beautiful to see the love 
that reigned between all these fellow-workers. On parting from one of 
her companions she writes : " We parted in great nearness of spirit 
" desiring we may be preserved where the Remembrance of one another 
" may be sweet when far separated, as the enjoyment of each other's 
" company has been more so while together than (I) can express " — to 
which her companion appears to add the note " Amen. E.W." 


Their experiences naturally varied at different Meetings, thus at one 
place she notes that it was " a heavy dull meeting " and a day or so later 
" a comfortable good meeting." Some characteristic descriptions are as 
follows : " It seemed a time of drought spiritually, — the spring was low, 
" the water of hfe hard to come at, yet through a diligent labour some 
" thirsty souls were at length favoured with a taste thereof." " In the 
" morning a low suffering time. We parted much loaded, but in the 
" afternoon were favoured with a little more strength & hberty to clear 
" ourselves in calling the rebellious &: careless lukewarm professors to 
" diligence." " We had close work but in the main to the satisfaction of 
" the general." " A good solid refreshing season." " A great reach 
" seemed to be over the people's minds." 

Sometimes she was evidently greatly refreshed, and records her 
praises to Her Heavenly Master for His great goodness to her. 

She appears to have performed this long journey without any accident. 
I think that in another of her journeys she had a narrow escape of 
serious injury from her horse falling. 

In reading over these peaceful records, it is strange to think how 
much of the country through which she travelled on her errand of 
mercy was convulsed just eight years later by the last civil war which 
England has witnessed — the march of the young Pretender to Derby in 
1745. We need hardly say that the Quakers took no part in this 
rising. They have always, even when persecuted, been the most loyal 
of subjects. 

We may pass over the brief notes made of some later journeys, until 
in 1747 we find her, as Mary Weston, setting forward from London, 
"accompanied by my dear husband," various other friends, "and my 
" dear child Mary." After a few days " I parted with my dear Husband, 
" Child & London Friends " and went on to various other Meetings — 
this journey not being a very long one. 




We now come to Mary Weston's more serious undertaking — a 
lengthy visit to the American Colonies, extending from the autumn of 
1750 to the spring of 1752. We find records of three or four separate 
journeys from Philadelphia, in one of which she travelled 1,600 miles, 
in another more than 2,000, in a third 528 miles — sometimes on horse- 
back, sometimes in open boats, sometimes for short distances in a 
friend's " chair," by which I understand a " chaise " or, as it would now 
be called in those parts, a " shay." She was sometimes in peril from 
drowning, sometimes from hostile Indians, sometimes from wild beasts. 
We may really take much of what St. Paul says of his own experiences, 
word for word, and apply it to her. " In journeyings often, in perils of 
" waters, in perils of robbers . . in perils by the heathen, in perils 
" in the wilderness, in perils by the sea . . In weariness and painful- 
" ness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in 
" cold — " 

The account of this missionary tour occupies 94 closely written large 
folio pages, and therefore we must be content with very brief and in- 
complete extracts. x\nd here let me say, once for all, that I am con- 
scious that in selecting passages for quotation I may be attracted by 
those that are characteristic and quaint and so do unconscious injustice 
to the writer's character as a whole, by failing to give equal prominence 
to the many simple and (if I may so say) catholic outpourings of a most 


pious and earnest soul. I wish I could convey to the reader the deep 
reverence with which I close the great folio volume after every occasion 
of studying it. Whatever we may think of female Ministry as a general 
question of Church discipline, it is impossible to doubt that the un- 
limited Grace of God has been extended richly to the labours of such 
single-hearted women as Mary Weston, even when engaged in work 
which the greater portion of the Church in all ages has held to be un- 
suited to her sex. 

Unfortunately we have no record whatever of the voyage, and must 
therefore conclude that it was marked by no such striking incidents as 
attended that of Mary Pryor, another female Minister on a similar 
errand some years later. From a small pocket Almanac for the year 
1750 I find that she sailed on the 8th of the 3rd month (May). The 
Journal begins " The seventh Day of the Fifth Month (July) 1750. I 
" landed at Chester." She was thus just two months in accomplishing 
the voyage which is now got over in about seven days. On the 9th she 
arrived at Philadelphia where friends of the City came to vv-elcome her. 
She attended various Meetings which were " large & solid." On the 
l6th of the month "was at the morning Meeting of Ministers and 
" Elders where my Certificate* was read to the satisfaction of Friends 
" present." 

As she proceeded on her journey, the Meetings of the Friends seem 
to have been very numerous and close together, as we should expect to 
be the case in the Quaker Colony of Pennsylvania. At last on the 2nd 
of 6th month (August) she " went to Elizabeth Town Point and crossed 
" that Ferry to Stratten Island (Staten Island), & from thence 7 miles 
" to Coomb's Ferry & sailed 9 miles across the Bay to New York in 45 
" minutes, which was accounted a good passage." On the 3rd she 
wrote to her husband, a letter full of tender love. It ends " shall con- 
" elude with a heart full of y'= sincerest and best of love I am capable of 
" expressing to thy dear self & our well-beloved daughter who with 
" (.'' thee are) as dearer to me than life itself and hope will be while 
" I remain 

" Thy faithfull & loving wife M. Weston." 

" P.S. ... My dearest, write me long letters & I now bid thee 
" dearly farewell." 

* See page 86. 


At New York on the 6th " I parted with my endeared friends M. 
" Pemberton & S. Brown who accompanied me from Philadelphia, which 
" was a close pinch to them as well as to me, having had a great deal of 
" pleasure in each other's company when together." Thence she went 
to Long Island, where she seems to have visited " Friends " at very short 
intervals as she journeyed on. On the nth she rode from Jericho to 
Bethpage " & had a Meeting there which was very large and well but 
" the extreme heat of the season overcame many. I could scarce keep 
" from fainting divers times in the Meeting, yet it was my lot to stand 
" near an hour, being supported far beyond my expectation with Divine 
" strength. To the great Lord be the praise who, we may say, is not a 
"hard Master, but gives strength suitable to every day's service." 
Thence to Jerusalem and next to Westbury where there was a very 
large Meeting of Friends and " Many of other Professions" "and the 
" weather continued so hot that abundance stript to their shirts therein 
" both Friends & others, and divers of the women near fainting. I sat 
" this Meeting mostly in silence." The next day they rode in all 43 
miles and lodged at Brewsters Tavern, where five of their number had 
to sleep on straw in the barn. They reached the East End of Long 
Island and lodged " at one Booth's (a Tavern) who was very kind and 
" obliging with what he had." 

On that day she had " Parted with our dear friend Margaret Bowne 
"who had been with us near two weeks and was exceeding loving & 
" tender of me and is like a Mother, her company both pleasant & 
" profitable." 

While waiting for the sailing of a sloop to take them to Rhode Island 
a " First day " intervened " In which time I told our Landlord that if the 
" neighbours who were generally Presbyterians, inchned to come to our 
" Meetings I should be glad of their company. He told me they would 
" be willing to come about Sun-set when their sabbath was over : which 
" proved a strait on my Mind and I had not freedom to indulge their 
" superstitious observance of that Day in such a particular manner, but 
" gave him to understand we should have a Meeting to begin about 1 1 
" o'clock and desired him to let the neighbours know, which he did, but 
" none of them came." 

"After Meeting the wind came about to S.S.W. and we pressed the 
" Capt. to set sail, till he informed us he durst not go oflF on the Sabbath 


" nor could anyone else, without paying a fine ; upon which we were 
" obliged to stay. In the evening many people came to our Quarters 
" wanting they said to hear me preach : our Landlord having given them 
" a good account of the morning Meeting : but I had not freedom to 
"have a Meeting there, my mind being very much shut towards it, 
" seeing they had the offer of one in the day time, tho' they generally 
" pressed me to preach, saying they had never heard a woman &c. The 
" man of the house also addressed himself to me thus. Madam what if 
" you were to exhort the people now seeing they are come, tho' you did 
" not think to have a Meeting : To which I answered him I could not 
" preach in my own Will & Time and had no particular concern on me 
" then so to do, therefore dared not give way to it. Upon which several 
" of them were for disputing on several points of doctrine as the Im- 
" possibility of falling from Grace; the Nature & certainty of Election 
" & Redemption ; Justification preceding Sanctification, with the Impos- 
" sibility of attaining perfection on this side the grave : Original Sin, &c. 
"which I was not forward to engage in, finding some of them that 
"attacked me were Deacons of their Church & others very leading 
" members & crafty Talkers of Religion according to the sense they had 
"of it. Yet unM'illing to play the Coward in my Master's cause I 
" defended the same in the ability given, whereupon they got into such 
"confusion in their Arguments, advancing such Inconsistencies with 
" their own Tenets that, running from one subject to another, at last 
" they gave out and took their leave in a friendly sort of manner though 
" I believe there was an envious spirit at Bottom, which I felt the Weight 
" of almost from my first coming into that neighbourhood and continued 
" while we stayed in the East End of the Island which was till 3rd day 
" (Tuesday). 

"For in the night of the 19th instant a violent storm arose of Wind 
" & rain such as I had hardly ever seen, that continued all day on Second 
" Day and the night following ; and indeed thought it a most remarkable 
" providence we were detained on First Day though the occasion not 
" reconcileable with our Judgments* but were truly thankful we were 
" safe on shore at a time when many poor creatures were in the utmost 

* It does not seem to have occurred to her to relent in her hard judgment of the Presbyterians' " super- 
" stitious observance " of the Lord's Day even when her life was probably saved thereby. 

1750 " ELIOT PAPERS 97 

" distress & drove on the Sands &c. some losing their ships, others 
"their hves. I think I heard of 15 vessels being in great danger & 
" most of them drove on shore that night. We w^ere told there had not 
" been such dreadful accounts of any storm in these parts for many 
" years." 

On the Tuesday they started and after a rough voyage of 27 hours 
they at last reached Newport (100 miles) and "through the gracious 
" protection of our great Pilot we landed safe." The next day they had 
a Meeting " which was large & more so on account of the Assembly 
" sitting at that time, who on hearing of an English friend come to visit 
" that Island, adjourned the House & came in a body to Meeting headed 
" by the Governor, but it proved my lot to sit in silence." 

Thence they went to Cushanet Harbour and sailed by the sloop 
" Trial " for Nantucket* where they had a Meeting which was a happy 
one for " I think I never felt more of the overflowing Love of my 
" Heavenly Father in the exercise of the Ministry." 

On their voyage back their vessel struck on the Bar " but through 
" mercy was soon got off." 

They reached Boston and she attended the " Yearly Meeting " and " a 
" great number of Presbyterians of the highest rank in the City as well 
" as many Friends were at it, expecting some great things from a 
" Londoner, but my mind was much shut up amongst them." 

There was a succession of Meetings — at one of which, the Meeting 
of Ministers " I had to drop a few words of advice to some respecting 
" their doctrine, as well as their manner & method of delivering it." 

" In the afternoon there was a mighty company of people not of our 
" Profession gathered before the Meeting doors were open, more than 
" would fill the house. The throng was so great they were long in 
" settling and not so solid as could be wished, but a Peace Officer came 
" and quieted them. The Service of the Meeting fell on I. Carpenter 
" and I thought he had a good time but there was much grumbhng 
" afterwards amongst all sorts of people at their great Disappointment " 
(that M.W. herself had not preached) " and I was told every person of 
" Note in and about the Town which was very considerable was present 

* In M.W.'s pocket almanac for 1750 I find the note " Y^ Island of Nantucket been inhabited about 90 
" years John Coleman y^ 2nd man child born in it. 



' — it was judged about Two Thousand in number. A part of the 
' Meeting house broke down with the throng. Many came in the even- 
' ing to visit me, of what they call the top sort, and showed me abund- 
'ance of respect, hoping I would have another Meeting with them, 
' which I was not free to do." 

She seems to have been in rather a depressed state, for she notes, a 
day or two later, that her " poor soul had waded very low, mostly, in 
" these parts." 

They thence travelled Northwards through Salem to Berwick, where 
some Friends met them " to conduct us through the woods to Biddeford, 
" it being a very hazardous journey and a difficult time, for the Canada' 
" Indians were very busy in these Eastern parts, wounding & taking 
" captive all they could lay their Hands on, so that most people were 
" gone into Garrison that lived in these woods and none dared to walk 
" or ride without Arms, concluding we were very bold to go through 
" the Woods at that time but should every soul of us be cut off. How- 
" ever with a steady trust in the Lord who, I well knew, was able to 
" preserve thro' the greatest dangers, we 13 rode through the Wilder- 
" ness wherein was plenty of wolves & bears which made a hideous 
" noise and disturbed me much therewith the night before, yet we 
" got by the kindness of Providence 30 miles and crossed a Ferry to 
" Batchelor Hussey's where we lodged. Next day, leaving 4 of the 
" Friends, we set forward for Old Casco Bay 30 miles, crossing a Ferry. 
" We put up at a Tavern intending to lodge there, but were told the 
" beds were all taken up and the people seemed very shy of us. But 
" we soon discovered the cause, there being a Presbyterian Priest in the 
" house. As soon as he was gone out of the house the Landlady came 
"& informed us she could make two beds & would do her best to 
" accommodate us, but we went to another house where a Widow 
" Woman received us gladly." 

Two days later they embarked for Marriconeck in a small fishing boat 
for a 20 mile voyage over the Bay, and had a perilous passage, barely 
escaping a violent storm that broke half a minute after they had landed. 
They landed cold and hungry, and after securing some refreshment " we 
" got the few Friends together & were favoured with a precious Meeting 

* Canada was at that time (and for nearly lo years later) French. 

1750 ELIOT PAPERS • 99 

" among these tender-spirited Friends who live in a remote corner, much 
"exposed to their enemies the Indians, who had taken 13 prisoners a 
" few days before, in the distance of about 10 miles from them, which 
" put the poor Children there away in Fear, there being nine of them 
" in that Family, but Poor Things they appeared mightily encouraged & 
" strengthened by our visit. We lodged with these Friends one night 
" and I think I never enjoyed more peace of mind for the time than in 
" that little Log House resting well tho' a stormy night & the rain 
" coming in upon our Beds." Hence they had " a good passage save a 
" little rough just before we landed at New Casco." They lodged at a 
Tavern, "but notwithstanding it was a garrison and a watch kept yet I 
" confess I was not so divested of fear as the night before." 

They held a Meeting " in an empty house that the people were fled 
" from on account of the Indians so most of the men brought their 
" Guns with them and for the greater safeguard ordered a party of 
" soldiers to surround the house, which brought a burden on my mind 
" so that I had Httle satisfaction in the Meeting."* 

They arrived safely at Dover, where their appearance gave great 
pleasure as a report had been " raised & spread by many " that they 
were all taken by the Indians. 

As my readers will be mostly, if not all, in the Old Country, it may 
be worth noting that all this took place close to the capital of the pros- 
perous State of Maine, where we should, in the present day, be about 
as Hkely to meet with wild beasts and raiding Indians as in Fleet Street ! 

We must pass rapidly over the remainder of this journey, noting by 
the way, that Methodists seem to have shared her displeasure with the 
Presbyterians, for she remarks at one place " There was many people, 
" but few Friends, being in my judgment tinctured with Methodism. It 
" was my lot to preach silence to them by example." 

There are several recurrences of the disappointment experienced 
when she failed to preach when expected to do so. It must have sorely 
puzzled those who did not understand the leading principle in " Friends' " 

* In the pocket almanac already quoted, I find the following note " At Thos. Hansen's — was in com- 
" pany with Elizabeth Hansen who was carried into captivity by y" Indians at 14 years of age, being about 
" 28 years agoc. Slie two brothers killed at same time — her Mother also taken and 4 more of the 
" family, one a child 2 weeks old which her mother at her breast — was all, save one, redeemed in about 


Ministry — that the impulse to speak must come from Above and that 
Silence may be as true a form of service as Words. At one place the 
neighbours sent anxiously to enquire whether she was ill, thinking that 
this must have been the reason why she sat silent. 

Not only the outsiders, however, seem to have experienced disappoint- 
ment, for at the " Monthly Meeting " at Portsmouth, where many Friends 
were gathered together, she thus relates her experiences : " Their ex- 
" pectations being too much outward or for some other reason best 
" known to the Almighty, it was my lot to sit in silence until the 
" Women separated from the Men. Among them I was closely engaged 
" (in preaching) for a considerable time, to the no small mortification of 
" the Men Friends : many of whom left their own Meeting and hovered 
" about the door & windows very thick." From which we may conclude 
that it was not mere curiosity to hear a woman preach which led a 
State Assembly to adjourn and attend her Meeting headed by the 
Governor, but that her preaching was really very powerful and un- 

At James Town her ministrations seem to have had a very practical 
effect " upon some of the Youth, who, from what was dropt, stripped 
" off some of their finery to the great joy of their parents & other 
" friends." 

We may suppose that Presbyterianism was strong in Connecticut, for 
she mentions it, in passing, as " that dark country of Connecticut," 
which would, I fear, have given some offence to the good Puritans if 
they could have seen her journal. 

On reaching New York she wrote a long and touching letter to her 
" dear & wellbeloved Husband " full of tender love to him and her little 
daughter and begging him to write " by all vessels y' comes to New 
" York, Boston, Rhode Island, Philadelphia, Virginia, Maryland, &c." 
" and so shall bid thee Adieu, Adieu, remaining thy constant, affectionate 
& obedient wife till Death." 

At last, after a journey of 1,600 miles she again reached Philadelphia 
some time in October, 1750. 




But she allowed her wearied body little rest, for on the 31st of the 
same month she again set out in company with Esther White and 
attended for some distance by " Israel & James Pemberton & many 
" others," for a long journey to the South, which extended as far as 
Charleston in South Carolina. 

Having devoted so much space to the former journey I must try to 
condense the account of the later ones as much as possible. But it is 
worthy of remark that Mary Weston seems to have been much happier 
among the Cavalier population of the South than among the Puritans 
of New England. These rather worldly and thoughtless folk were by 
no means disposed to discuss hard points of theology with her, but 
simply saw in her a brave and pious woman who made light of perils and 
fatigue if she could do them any good — and were fully conscious that 
they much needed all the good that might be brought to them even by 
a woman and a Quakeress. May we not see in this that she really went 
in the spirit of her Divine Master who came not to the whole but to the 
sick, and found the readiest welcome among the publicans and the 
sinners ? It is also a curious fact, which comes under our constant 
observation, that, whenever the Churchman and the Quaker could get 
free from their quarrels over Church rates and Tithes, they have not 
failed to develope much mutual respect and appreciation — to a far 
greater extent than has existed between the Quakers and other Noncon- 
forming bodies. To discuss the reason of this state of things would be 


quite outside the scope of these brief pages, but I believe they He very- 
deep in the constitution of the Quaker character. In the present day 
there is no quarter where the true spirit of Quakerism is more frankly 
appreciated than among the more thoughtful of the Bishops and Clergy 
of the Anglican Church. 

Soon after starting, within two days journey of Philadelphia, their 
adventures began, for on reaching Susquehannah they found the river 
" froze up " and " it was thought not safe to go over ; " so they lodged 
there " and in the morning were conveyed over the River on a Ladder 
" drawn by two men, being about a quarter of an hour going that mile 
" and a half on the ice." Thence they passed South Westward till they 
reached the Potomac (spelt phonetically " Potowmack ") hurrying their 
journey lest the thaw coming on should stop them in crossing. " We 
" had considerable interruption in going over. My companion's horse 
" narrowly escaped being lost by making a Blunder at first getting on 
" the ice which broke in with her in very deep water so that at one time 
" we almost despaired of saving her ; yet at length she was haled up, and 
" through mercy we got safe along, walking about i mile on the ice." 
They were hospitably entertained that evening, and on leaving, Mary 
Weston " found freedom to tell her hostess that her love in Christ 
" flowed freely to her," and she heartily wished the blessing of God 
might rest on her and her family — which drew tears from her eyes. 
Then riding on 15 miles they got "a kind of a dinner at a dirty nasty 
" house called a Tavern " but got little to eat for themselves or their 
horses. After losing their way they at last reached the Rapahannock, 
but were told it was not safe to go on the ice, so they had to put up at 
a " poor Tavern " where were about twelve " Scotch Merchants, young 
" men that behaved with great civility " and expressed a wish to have a 
Meeting, about which our good lady happily felt no difficulty, and the 
neighbours were called in and she and her companion both preached. 
" The Meeting ended satisfactorily, they expressing thankful Acknow- 
" ledgments for the same, but one of the young man being free with 
" caUing on the sacred Name irreverently, I was made to rebuke him 
" publickly, when he allowed it to be a fault & seemed to take it well." 
The Scotch Merchants invited her to breakfast with them next morning 
and were " very kind and loving " and assisted her and her friends to 
get their horses on the ice, which with difficulty was done for one of 


them, the other broke in, and at length got to shore again. So " after 
much toil to little purpose " they decided to try the other ferry, and at 
last safely passed the Rapahannock and proceeded into Carolina. 

A few days later they were glad to avail themselves of a kind friend's 
chaise " both our horses failing, my companion's mare had her jaw-bone 
"cracked by an accident and my horse foundered, but with a few days 
" rest came to again." 

Then on through Virginia " thro' considerable difficulties on account 
" of divers bridges being washed away by the floods in those parts that 
" had been very high." One evening after dark they came to a long 
bridge, which proving safe they went over, though they could not see 
whether it was so or not till they tried it. 

Thence from place to place through North Carolina. At " Zachary 
" Nixon's " Mary Weston met with Elizabeth Nixon " a good friend and 
"" pretty Minister" who offered to accompany her to Charles Town in 
South Carolina, " poor Esther White continuing indisposed and fearful 
" the journey would prove too hard for her." No wonder ! Mary 
Weston herself must have had a constitution of iron and " Robur et 
^' CSS triplex circum pectus" to go through it all. 

At a place the name of which is not given, but which follows the 
crossing of " Perquimon's River" they "had a Meeting in the Court 
" House which was filled with a solid company of people, chiefly the 
" great folks of the Town : Daniel Corbin, the Lord Granville's agent 
" was exceeding kind and respectful as also the Priest shewed a great 
" deal of civility " asking Mary Weston to his lodging, where she dined. 
" After Meeting he expressed great satisfaction, as did many more, 
"indeed it was a good meeting" (as M.W. beheved) "to divers." On 
their way to Wilmington they crossed sundry rivers by ferry and canoe, 
being thankful to set their feet on dry land again, and Mary Weston 
records her thankfulness at being preserved in health considering the 
great fatigues, difliculties and dangers they met with frequently. They 
often found the accommodation wretched and the houses bitterly cold, 
while their horses had nothing but Indian corn for days together. 

Near Savener (.^ Savannah) they are in fear from the neighbourhood 
of Horse stealers, but their horses are spared and they press on through 
South Carolina, being " received by all with good manners and respect." 


The little pocket almanac gives us one or two picturesque details. 
In crossing Shallot River they saw an " Alegator " and a few days later 
" caught a Poss" in riding in y^ wood : y« female of which creature 
" carries her young in a false — " (word not very clear.) Again " one 
" of our party killed a Rattlesnake which was lying in y^ road near touch- 
" ing our horses' feet." 

It also contains various recipes, among which is one highly suggestive 
of one of her discomforts, for it refers to that interesting insect the Cimex 
which has given its English name to the whole Insect Kingdom in 

At a place called Stonoe they had a meeting at the Baptist Meeting 
House. " The Teacher, one Hayward, not only giving leave, but 
" came himself and most of his Hearers. The Meeting was large, many 
" from Charlestown came to it." Mary Weston " treated largely " on 
the Samaritan Woman. A " Presbyterian priest " also dined with them 
and went to the Meeting, " behaved well and expressed his satisfaction. 
" He was a moderate man, somewhat inchned to the Methodists." In 
this journey we remark with interest that she seldom complained of 
being " burdened " except when she came among her own people, and 
remarked on the slackness of their Discipline — not implying thereby 
any irregularity of life, but that the system of business in their " Meet- 
ings for disciphne " was not properly carried out. 

At Bath Town she preached to a large Meeting in the Court House 
and made " divers remarks on the Litany of the Episcopal Church and 
" Common Prayer, and was told by a leading member of that Society 
" after, as was going with him in a Chair to his House a mile out of 
" Town, that I cut close on that subject but gave it a charitable turn at 
"the end that made amends." Meetings at "the Court House" occur 
not infrequently. The account of her last Meeting at Charlestown is 
truly impressive. The neighbours crowded to hear, so that the yard 
was nearly full as well as the meeting house, and she did not hesitate to 
warn " that libertine people " plainly of their sins, such as " calling for 
" Damnation one on another." Her heart was greatly drawn out towards 
them and tears were drawn from many eyes. 

On her way back through Virginia she attended a Meeting (apparently 
a regular Meeting of the Friends) " where was a great number of people 
" of all ranks, several Chariots &. Six & Chaises & four that made a 


" considerable show in this country place." But her soul was " deeply 
" moved & much humbled at this season " and she " had to revive the 
" excellent Advice of worthy Hannah to talk no more so exceeding 
" proudly nor let Arrogancy come out of their mouths," recommending 
Humility as the most becoming ornament for a Christian, and she " had 
"a great Reach over the Meeting." 

At another Meeting a few days later on " many of other professions 
" came, especially of the topping sort. They behaved well and ex- 
" pressed great satisfaction with the Meeting " though she was led to 
charge them that are rich in this World not to be highminded but 
fear, &c. 

At " one of the Mountain Meetings " we recognise a state of things 
which has been a source of grief to faithful Ministers from the days of 
the Apostle Paul to the present time. " A considerable number of 
" people were gathered who were very zealous in some externals of 
" little moment, crying up a particular preacher which others were dis- 
" satisfied with which caused Divisions & Contentions among them." 
The next day she met with " such another company of people " and 
found it " a tr3ang meeting believing there was that spirit prevailing that 
" interrupted the Current of Life and caused the rebounding of the 
" Testimony which is hard to bear." 

Again at the parting meeting in that district " most of the Inhabitants 
" of every denomination thereaway gave us their company — a Colonel 
"and his wife came 30 miles that morning in a Chariot & Six on pur- 
" pose to attend the meeting and told divers they did not repent coming, 
" earnestly desiring I would give them a visit. Indeed I visited several 
" in that town that were not of our persuasion feeling great Love in my 
" heart towards them : and had to express somewhat of it publickly — to 
" the tendering of many." 

When they were within a few days journey of Philadelphia, several of 
her friends rode out to meet her, among whom she mentions her 
"esteemed Friend and Cousin Mordecai Yarnall " and her "very dear 
" friends Israel Pemberton & Wife " and others. To her great pleasure 
they brought her various letters from her husband and friends in 
England " the which, together with such good company, helped me over 
" my bodily weakness that I then laboured under from the great fatigue 
" I had undergone in the long journey to the Southerns, but through 
" Divine favour I recovered daily." 


One of the last notes we have of this journey is of her visit to 
Middleton Meeting " wherein my spirit was grievously oppressed with 
" filthy spirits claiming superiority in the Church and sitting in the 
" uppermost seats in the Synagogue, clothed with a self-righteous Zeal 
" but rotten at Heart, whom I addressed in the words of Ehhu — " Great 
" men are not always wise, &c." Truly Mary Weston did not scruple 
in recording her opinions. 

The latter part of the Journal of this journey appears to be lost, but 
Mary Weston shortly returned to Philadelphia : not, however, for any 
long rest. 

About this time she noted in her pocket almanac "6 mo. the 13th 
" 1751 had rode 5,130 miles & upward in y^ continent of America." 




On the 26th October, 1751, Mary Weston and Mary Pemberton 
started on a fresh journey — first attending a Meeting at Shrewsbury, 
which was greatly crowded, and M.W. felt it her duty to endeavour " to 
" still that giddy people many of whom were as light and airy as any I 
" have seen in a religious congregation, which gave me great concern." 

Thence they proceeded towards New York by Wilson's Ferry, in 
crossing which some of the Friends had much trouble owing to the 
violent wind and the difficulty of managing their horses in the ferry boat. 
Just as Mary Weston was about to embark in another boat she " found 
" a stop in her mind " for she " was not easy." Whereby she seems to 
been spared an anxious and dangerous experience, for the boat was 
driven out towards the sea by the wind and tide and was apparently in 
great peril. 

At New York she was happy in the company of her old companion 
Margaret Bowne, but she could not rest there, having a " concern to 
visit divers parts of Connecticut and appoint Meetings among the 
Inhabitants who are very much strangers to Friends & their principles 
& indeed some few years ago were bitter enemies against them, deny- 
ing them entrance into their houses, and made a law prohibiting any 
Innholder or Tavernkeeper to entertain them." At first it seemed 


unlikely that she could find a suitable companion, but after a time 
Margaret Bowne herself felt it her duty to go — a decision which brought 
great relief to Mary Weston's mind. 

We would limit our notice of this journey to an account of the pro- 
ceedings at Woodbury, which we give in M.W's own words. 

" We put up at Capt. Reed's who was desirous I should have a meet- 
" ing at his house when I went through the Town about a year before 
" on my return from New York to Philadelphia which I was not free to 
" do at that time ; but his being away from home now when we came, 
" occasioned some difficulty about obtaining room to hold a Meeting in 
" — for although his wife had given liberty to us to hold it in her house, 
"yet soon after one of their Priests came & warned her against it, 
" raising an objection to the unlawfulness of Women's preaching which 
" put her upon fearing lest she should be aiding & assisting in a wrong 
" thing and incur the Displeasure of that Crafty Hireling: however, as 
" it was a Tavern, and we had taken up the Room, we insisted on our 
" privilege and begged her to be easy and we would satisfy her well for 
" it, and believed her husband would freely give it up if at home, where- 
" upon she consented and the people had notice to come about 6 o'clock, 
" which many did, but in the meantime came in two of the neighbours, 
" Merchants of some note in the Town who laboured to prepossess 
" such who came in that Women were forbid to preach and they had 
" not right to speak in the Church in this day, advancing all the argu- 
" ments they could muster to deter them from being at the Meeting, 
" ridiculing everything that was said seriously on the subject. One was 
" a man that had been brought up at the College in New-Haven, his 
" name Peter Curtis : we thought he was set on to make disturbance by 
" the aforenamed Priest. His accomplice was one Abraham Hays ; they 
" did not come into the Meeting till I had been speaking half an hour, 
" when they rushed through to the further side of the room, having a 
" candle, pen, ink and paper in their hands and got to a Table attempt- 
" ing to write down what I said ; thinking thereby I supposed to confuse 
" me or put me in fear of them : but through Divine power I was raised 
" above the fear of man or any Mortal and their conduct affected me no 
" more than if they had been little children whispering together, upon 
" which they became tired their end not being answered, and were ex- 
" ceedingly confused in themselves, which their Looks discovered, and 


" Standing up, one said, I wonder you have patience to sit and be im- 
" posed upon by so much nonsense, the Woman preaches confused 
" Doctrine ; there is no connection in what she says. It's true, its 
" Scripture, but there is no connection in it. Upon which I begged 
" him to sit still and not disturb our Meeting. He answered Its an 
" unlawful Assembly, which I and several others denied, but he and 
" Hays insisted on it : which drew from me a rebuke, which was, that 
" his behaviour was very unbecoming a rational man and much more a 
" professed Christian, which I concluded he was — adding, I knew not 
" what particular laws they were governed by in that Colony, but if they 
"were in Old England they would find it a punishable act to molest us, 
" or any religious Congregation of People tolerated by the Government 
" & allowed hberty of conscience to worship God in the way we believe 
" acceptable to Him and said I apprehended they were subject to the 
" same law, which was immediately backed up by one of their Deacons, 
"who addressed himself to him — Mr Curtis, the Gentlewoman is in the 
" right — you know not what you do, if you don't like it you had better 
" walk out — for my part I hke what has been said — it is sound Doctrine 
" and agreeable to Scripture — if it should be otherwise I would go away 
" and not interrupt them." So finally the disturbers were prevailed on 
to withdraw — Mary Weston and her companion holding their ground, 
and " afterwards the Truth arose, the Gospel was preached and many 
" rejoiced therein." 

We must add one more graphic bit of narrative. " At Canterbury 
"being the 21st of 9th mo. put up at a Tavern, where things looked 
" very dark ; a prophane company of drunken creatures attended the 
" House, which greatly burthened our minds, and my dear Friends and 
" companions were almost discouraged about having a Meeting in that 
" place, but while we were labouring under this Difficulty, one Capt. 
" Fish came in upon some occasion (and indeed I though it provi- 
" dentially) He, hearing of my Intention of a Meeting in that place, 
" freely oflfered his house which we gladly accepted, and our friend 
" S. Barhng gave the people notice accordingly. Through Divine power 
" we had a comfortable time among a people entirely ignorant of our 
" principles. The man of the House offered us Cyder when we had 
" sitten a few minutes in silence, thinking the Meeting did not begin till 
" I spoke — whereupon it became my concern to lay before them the 


" great advantage that accrued to a pious mind by a solemn silent wait- 
" ing upon God." On this journey she appears to have ridden about 
530 miles. 

On the lOth of the 2nd Month (April) 1752 we find her setting out 
for what was probably the last of her Missionary Journeys in America. 
" Went with much Difficulty over the river Delaware in a boat with 3 
" Keels made for crossing on the Ice when too weak to bear any other 
" carriage as it now was, breaking in with us several times, though had 
" been frozen over several weeks : Yet got well through having sufficient 
" hands to assist at such times, who ran along by the side of the boat 
" which went at the rate of about 6 miles an hour, the wind blowing 
" fresh & we having a sail up." The account of this journey breaks off 
abruptly, and with it ends the Journal. 

On a loose paper at the end of the M.S. John Eliot explains that the 
book had been bought by Daniel Weston in his lifetime in order that 
his wife's Journals should be copied therein, but nothing seems to have 
been done in this way till many years afterwards when J.E. undertook 
the work, but found many gaps which could not be filled up, — especially 
he regrets the absence of any account of M.W's voyages. 

We must not close the account of these American Journeys without 
a brief notice of the two little pocket almanacs for 1750 and 1751 which 
possess a certain historical and bibhographical value. The full title is 
" A pocket Almanac for the year (1750) Fitted to the use of Pennsyl- 
" vania and the neighbouring Provinces — with several useful Additions. 
By R. Saunders, Phil. * Philadelphia. Printed and sold by B. Franklin 
& D. Hall." 

Now this B. Frankhn was none other than the celebrated philosopher 
who was at that time busily engaged as a printer, while working out his 
scientific theories and patriotic schemes. 

The pages are not quite four inches high and two inches wide, and 
are fair specimens of typography. The printed matter is interleaved 
with blank pages. There is not much to remark on in the Almanac 
itself except that it begins with xi Month January, xii Month February, 
i Month March, &c., and forecasts of the weather are rashly introduced 
among the Saints' days and astronomical notices. At the end comes a 

* Phil, apparently means " Philosopher " 


list of "Quakers General Meetings," followed by "Fairs"! then by 
Courts of Justice. Near the end come lists of the roads, with distances 
to various stopping places — first North-Eastward and then South-West- 
ward. The latter page is filled up with the following curious rhyme : — 

" Rules for computing expence." 
" Compute the pence but of one day's expence 
" So many Pounds, Angels, Groats' & Pence 
" Are spent in one whole year's Circumference 
" or 

" One weeks expence in Farthings, makes appear 
"The shill : & pence expended in a year." 

Finally comes a table of the value and weight of coins " as they now 
" pass in Pennsylvania," which is delightfully suggestive of Robinson 
Crusoe, dealing in Moidores, Pistoles, Arabian Chequins, Pieces of 
eight and the like, but it is worth notice that an English guinea was 
worth (in Pennsylvania) ^I 14s, and that an ounce of gold, which was 
worth in England ^3 17s S'/^d, would exchange into local currency for 
^G 5s, while the relative values of an ounce of silver were as 5s 2d to 
8s 6d. 

; probably needless to say that an Angel is lo/- and a Groat 4d. 


Mary Weston doubtless returned home in the course of 1752, and we 
may imagine how warmly she was welcomed by her husband and 
daughter, then nine years old. Within the cover of the folio book of 
her Journals I find three maps carefully executed and mounted on 
canvas, showing the course of her principal journeys in America. It is 
evident that these have at some time been framed, and I imagine that 
they formed a somewhat unusual decoration in the severely plain 
Quaker home at Wapping. The happy family party was, alas ! not to 
remain long united; for on the 17th of lOth Month, 1755, Daniel Weston 
died. He appears to have left good provision for his widow, for she 
soon afterwards moved to the house in Wandsworth where we met 
with her in the first volume (p. 77). Here she lived the life of an 
active and hospitable Minister among the Friends, and from this house 
her daughter was married to John Eliot in 1762. About 1765 she 
married again, being united to another Minister, one Jeremiah Waring.* 
But this union was a short one, for in 1766 her heaUh gave way alto- 
gether. She was attended by Dr Fothergill, who recommended her to 
try the eflFect of the Bath waters, then in the height of their popularity, 
but no beneficial result followed, and after some months of suffering 

* See the " Gentleman's M.igazine," 1792, pt. ii. p,ige 972 ; also " Piety Promoted," pt. 10. He died 
at Thorpe House, Surrey, Oct. 2, 1792, aged 76. 


from asthma and other complaints she passed to her rest quietly and 
peacefully on the 9th October, 1766. She was buried at RatclifFe. 
During her last illness she remarked that she never remembered to 
have enjoyed so sweet a calm over her mind for so long together 
as at that time, and it is indeed manifest that she was already beginning 
to reap the reward of the good and faithful servant while awaiting 
the summons to her Lord's presence. 

We also bless Thy Holy Name for all Thy servants departed 
this life in Thy faith and fear : beseeching Thee to give us 
grace so to follow their good examples that with them we 
may be partakers of Thy Heavenly Kingdom. Amen." 



(?) Jolin Eliot, of St. Austell, in Cornwall, d. 
Philip Eliot (or Ellyott), of St. Austell, 
in Cornwall, Mercer, d. 1691 

(Rebecca, daughter of John Chapman, of 
Liskeard ; who, after tlie death of Philip 
Eliot, m. Robert May. 

John Eliot, of F.ilmouth, and afterwards of London, 
Merchant, b. about 1683, d. at Croydon 18. 8 nio. 
1762, m. firstly 3 Nov. 1706 Hester, dau. of John 
Chappell, of Topsham in Devonshire, (and secondly 
in 1719 Theophila, dau. of John Bellers,* of Colne 
St. Alwyns, Glostersh. by whom he left 3 daughters. 
The second dau. by this marriage, Rebecca Eliot, m. 
Sir John Bridger, of Combe Place, Lewes, their dau. 
Mary m. Sir Geo. Shiffner, of Combe, and left issue.) 

Jacob Eliot, of 
Falmouth, d. abt. 
1740, married 
1731 Priscilla, 
dau. of Thos. 
Gwin, of Fal- 
mouth, d. 
without issue. 

Jane Eliot, i Rebecca Elioi 
. John Turner, m. in 1704 
of Lurgan, \ Robert Wallii 



John Eliot, of London, Merchant, b. at Falmouth 1707, 

Philip Elic 

t b. 1708, 

Ann E 

d. 19 Dec, 1735, married 11 April, 1734 Mariabella 

d. unmar 

ied 1759. 


Farmborough, dau. of Peter Briggins, Merchant, of 


London. (See Table 2.) 

bert, d. 1763, 
thout issue. 

John Eliot, of Bartholomew Close, London, and Ash- 
more Manor, Dorset, b. at Garlick Hill, London, 
2 February, 1734/5, d. 9 January, 1813, married 
4 Aug. 1762 Mary, dau. of Daniel Weston, of 
London. (See Table 4,) 

Mariabella Eliot, of Bartholomew Close, London, 
and Pickhurst, Kent, b. 12 April, 1736, d. un- 
married 25 January, 1769. 

Mary Eliot, b. 10 Nov. 1767, 
d. at the age of 3 weeks, 

Mariabella Eliot, b. 
26 Nov. 1769, d. 23 
Feb. 1852, married 7 
Dec. 1796 Luke How- 
ard. (See Table 5.) 

Ann Eliot, b. 24 Nov. 
1771, d. 4 April 1776. 


John Eliot, of Bar- 
tholomew Close, b. 2fc 
Nov. 1771, d. unmarried 
7 March 1830. 

, of Giles Fettiplace, of Coin St Alwyns. Theophila Bellers ^ 





William Briggins of Hanslop, Bucks, 

b. abt. 1600 — d. 12 April 1668. 


William Briggins, of Bartholomew Close, London, 

Merchant, b. at Hanslop 1628, d. 27 July, 1688. 

Married 1656 Susanna, dau. of Alexander Cooper, 

sometime Mayor of Andover, Hants, b. 1628, d. 5 

Feb., 1668. 

Peter Briggii 
3 daughtei 

b. 1629, d. 1703, leaving a son and 

William Briggins, b. 22 Sep., 1657, 
d. without issue 17 Sep., 1702. 

(Both William and Peter Briggins were 
born at Newington Green, Middlesex.) 

Hannah Briggins, 
b. 29 Aug., 1659, 
d. 25 Jan., 1687/8, 
m. 1680 Thomas Tibie 
Left one son William 
Tibie, b. 1682, d. un- 
married 4 Dec. 1758. 

Joseph Briggin 


Mercy Briggins, 
b. 7 Aug., 1696, 

d. abt. 1751, 
m. 26 Oct., 17 17, 
Joseph Barber, left 
I son and 2 drs. 

Susanna Briggin 
b. 3 Sep., 1697 

■ 2 J.->n., 1717/1 
Richard How, 

Briggins, b. 9 Oct., 
I70I, d. abt. 1744, 
m. 28 Aug., 1740, 
John Bell, left no 

Gulielma Briggins, 
b. 27 June, 1704, 
d. Oct., 1745, 
m. I Mar., 1743/4, 
Daniel Zachary, left 

Peter Briggins, of 
Bartholomew Close, 
London, Merchant, 
b. 24 Feb., 1666, 
d. 27 Sep., 1717, 
m. 29 Oct., 1689, 
Mariabella, dau. of 
Thomas Farmborough. 
(See Table 3) 


1 Mariabella Farm- 
I borough Briggins, 
' b. 23 Feb., 1708, 
d. 8 June, 1747. 
m. II April, 1734, 
John Eliot, 
(See Table i) 


Thomas Farmborough, of Anson- 

under-Hill, Oxon. 
Thomas Farmborough, of St. Pauls 

Ch. Yd., London, b. about 1633 

d. 18 May, 1720. 

Thomas Farmborough, of 1 
Surgeon, b. abt. 1663, d. 
1723, without issue. 

William Bleake, of Warminster, Wilts, 
m. 1626, Elizabeth Vickers 

-Mariabella Bleake (registered as 
Mirabel), b. Jan. 12, 1627, 
d. 3 Mar,, 170S, m. Thomas 

Mariabella Farmborough, b. 21 
June, 1665, d. 25 Jan., 1756, 
married Peter Briggins. 
(See Table 2.) 

Mariabella or 

Marabel Bleake, 

m. 16 Feb., 1715/16, 

Richard Hutcheson 

or Hutchenson 

of Goswell St., 


and Robert. Some of the family are said 




Edward Weston, of Banbury, Oxon. 

Thomas Weston, b. at Banbury, 19 Mar. 
1636/7, lived at Athy, Co. Carlow, d. 
1708, buried at New Garden, Co. Carlow, 
m. 1660 Sarah, dau. of Bethell Grimes, 
of Burton Dassett, Warwicksh. 

Bethel Weston, of Dublin, and afterwards of 
Haverfordwest, m. 27 June, 1693 Debo- 
rah Musgrave. 

Ernestus Musgr 
. Deborah Gwir 

of Llanyna, Co. Cardigan, 
of Moliliver, Co. Cardigan. 


grave, b. abt. 1643, 
d. 1712, m. Alice 

dau. of David Lewis 
of Llandovery, 
Co. Pembroke. 

;rave Eleanor Musgrave 
d. unmarried. m. Geo. Painter 

of Pennsylvania 
& left issue. 

Deborah Musgrx 

m. 1st Bethel 


— Thomas, 


Susanna Musgrave Lewis Musgrave 

m. Evan Bowen, ni. Margaret Bower 

of Prendergast, & left 3 sons & 

Co. Pembroke, & 3 drs. 

Sarah Weston Peregrine Weston Edward Weston Susanii 

b. 1696, m. 1722 b. 1698, m. 17 

Joseph Bush, of Mary Gilbert i 

Bristol, & Dublin, left 

left I dr. I son. 

b. 1699, m. 1721 

Hannah Hemley 

in Philadelphia 

& left issue. "}• 

> After the death of Daniel Westovi his widow m. Jere 

Waring, but left no further issue, 
t From Edward Weston was descended Ann Stephe 

who was reiiponsible for the spurious pedigree. 

Daniel Weston 

of Wapping, 
b. 21 Sep. 1707, 
d. 25 Oct. 1755, 
m. Mary Pace, 
d. of Joseph Pace 
of Southwark, 

of Wapping, & 
afterwards of 
b. .abt. 1710, 
d. 1783, m. 

Judith NickoIIs, 

711, d. 1765)* & left a daugliter, 
II Sarah, who m. 

abt. 1777 
William DiUwyn, 

a descendt. of 
Eleanor Musgrave 
(Painter) see abov( 

Mary Weston 
b. 17 Aug. 1743 
d. abt. 1812, 
m. John Eliot. 
(See Table i.) 



Stanley Howard, of Hitchin, 

Herts, b. Feb. 8, 1677, d. tn. Sarah, dau. of Graveley Whittingstall. She was b. 25. 6. 1681. 

1736. and d. 20. i. 1721. 

Robert Howard, of Folkestone, 

Kent, b. Ap. 14, 1706, d. m. 1731 Elizabeth, dau, of Thos. CuUen, of Folkestone. She was 

Dec, 1793. ^- 170O1 d. 1785. 

Robert Howard, of Old Street, 

Loudon, b. 9. i. 173S, d. m. 1772 Eliz.ibeth, dau. of William Leatham, of Pontefract, Yorks, 

19. I. 1812. She was b. 29. 2. 1742, d. 26. 10. 1816. 

Luke Howard, F.R.S., of 

Plaistow, Essex, and Ack- m. 1796 Mariabella Eliot. (See Table i) 

worth, Yorks, b. Nov. 28, 
1772, d. March 21, 1864. 

The Children and Grandchildren of Luke and Mariabella Howard were as follows : — 
MARY, b. 17 Nov. 1797, died at about 17 years of age. 

ROBERT, b. 26 June, 1801 : d. 2 June, 1871, m. Rachel, dau. of Samuel Lloyd, of Birmingham. 
Samuel Lloyd Howard, C.B., b. 13 Dec., 1827. Twice married, but no issue. 
Rachel Maria Howard, b. 20 April, 1830, d. — 1868, m. 1855 William Fowler, sometime 

M.P. for Cambridge, and left 4 sons and 2 daughters. 
Elizabeth Howard, b. 29 May, 1832, unmarried. 
Robert Luke Howard, b. 8 Oct., 1834, m. Henrietta Maria Fox, and has 4 sons and 3 

Theodore Howard, b. 3 April, 1837, m. Susan Maria Jowitt, and has 5 daughters. 
David Howard, b. 3 April, 1839, m. Anna Dora Jowitt, and has 4 sons and 3 daughters. 
Eliot Howard, b. 13 July, 1842, m. Charlotte Fox Tuckett, and has 2 sons and I 

Alfred Howard, b. 1845, died in infancy. 

ELIZABETH, b. 26 January, 1803, d. 19 January, 1836, m. John Hodgkin. 

John Eliot Hodgkin, b. 30 Dec, 1829, m. Sarah Jane Ransome, and has 6 sons and 4 

Thomas Hodgkin, D.C.L., b. 29 July, 1831, m. Lucy Anna Fox, and has 3 sons and 3 

Mariabella Hodgkin, b. 16 Feb., 1833, m. The Rt. Honble. Sir Edward Fry, D.C.L., 

and has a sons and 6 daughters living. 
Elizabeth Hodgkin, b, 16 July, 1834, m. Alfred Waterhouse, R.A., and has 2 sons and 

2 daughters living. 



RACHEL, b. i8 June. 1804 : d. unmarried 24 September, 1837. 

MARIABELLA, b. 31 July, 1805, d. 7 June, 1806. 

A SON, not named, b. 11 August, i8o6, d. 20 August, 1806. 

JOHN ELIOT, (F.R.S.) b. 11 December, 1807, d. 22 November, 1883, m. Maria Crewdson. 
William Dillworth Howard, b. 19 December, 1831. 
Sarah Maria Howard, b. 6 February, 1833, m. Thomas Fox, and has 4 sons and 3 

daughters living. 
Joseph Howard, M.P. for Tottenham, b. 9 May, 1834, m. HUen Waterhouse, and has 5 

sons and 2 daughters. 
Mary Elizabeth Howard, b. 21 March, 1836, m. Edward Rigge Lloyd. 
John Eliot Howard, b. 15 Feb., 1838, d. 28 Dec, 1866, m. Louisa Waterhouse, and 

left 3 sons (of whom one has since died). 
Mariabella Howard, b. 20 Dec, 1840, ni. Howard Lloyd, and has 7 sons and i daughter. 
Eleanor Howard, b. 4 May, 1844, d. 1886, m. Sampson Z.achary Lloyd, and left 5 sons 

and 6 daughters. 
Alice Howard, b. 9 May, 1846, d. 1892, m. Francis Henry Lloyd, and left 2 sons and 5 

Henry Howard, b. 5 May, 1848, m. Alice Gertrude Thomson, and has 3 sons and a 


JOSEPH, b. 30 May, 181 1, died unmarried 13 June, 1838. 


^ I ^ ■"■ "° 

1-^ c i 

I 1 "^ 

3 g S 

1 B J= 

& B u S 



It will be noticed tiiat in all dates prior to th& year 1752 the "Old Style" is 
observed, according to which the year began on the 25th day of March. Consequently 
it is now customary, in referring to such dates, to give a double year to the days 
between ist January and 25th March — as, for instance, "3rd February, 1715/16." 

The change of styles is particularly confusing in studying records of the Quakers, 
who call the months not by their names, but by their numbers, " First Month," 
" Second Month," &c. 

For although the names of the months were not altered, their position in the 
year was changed, as March, which used to be " _First Month," became "Third 
Month," and so on. September, October, November, and December were, as their 
names imply, the " Seventh, Eighth, Ninth, and Tenth Months " in the Old Style, 
but in the New Style they stultify their names by becoming "Ninth, Tenth, Eleventh, 
and Twelfth." 

The New Style was introduced by Pope Gregory XIII in 1582, but was not 
accepted in Protestant countries till long afterwards, and by the time it was adopted 
in England in 1752 (in accordance with an Act of Parliament passed in 1751) our 
Calendar had become incorrect by eleven days. To rectify this error it was enacted 
that the next day after the 3rd September, 1752, should be reckoned the 14th 
September. The mob who were ignorant of the reason and necessity for such a 
change considered that they had been defrauded of eleven days of their lives, and 
used to shout to unpopular Statesmen in the streets or on the hustings " Who stole 
"the eleven days?" "Give us back our eleven days!" 

It is perhaps needless to explain that the reason for the omission of the days 
arose from the fact that the astronomers of Julius Caesar's day had not measured the 
length of the year with sufficient correctness. They reckoned it as 365 daj-s, 
6 hours, whereas it is in reality only 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes, 49^-10 seconds. 
Therefore the Julian allowance of an extra day every fourth year is rather too much, 
and the annual error of 11 minutes lofio seconds accumulates in a century to nearly 


a whole day of 24 hours. By the time of Gregory, the Calendar had thus become 
10 days wrong. This was corrected, and to prevent further errors it was arranged 
that the Leap Year should be omitted at the even centuries which are not divisible 
by 4. Thus 1600 remained a Leap Year — but 1700, 1800, and 1900 are not Leap 

In Russia and Greece alone, of all Christian countries, the Old Style is still 
adhered to, and their Calendar has thus, by this time, become wrong to the extent 
of 12 days: so that what is the 12th of March with them is the 24th of March with 
us, and so on. 

The Old Style is also, I believe, still observed in all calculations of the British 
Treasury— thus the financial year begins on the 5th April, which is Lady Day " Old 
" Style." 

It is an amusing fact that, whereas in Roman Catholic countries popular periodic 
miracles, such as the liquefaction of the blood of San Gennaro at Naples, dutifully 
observed the Papal decree and conformed to the New Style, all our old mystical 
phenomena, such as the flowering of sacred thorn trees at Christmas, keep up their 
protest by sticking to the "Old Style." 



The notices of the Briggins Family Papers would be incomplete without some 
brief description of a verj' curious and valuable manuscript which has been handed 
down, the full title of which is as follows : 


"Wherein is contained y= scituation, comerse (customs) &c., of many Provinces, 
"Isles, &c., in India, Persia, Arabia, and y= South Seas, experienced by me T.B. in 
" y= forementioned Indies, vizt. from Anno MDCLXIX to MDCLXXIX." 

It is a small folio volume of about 176 pages, closely written in old-fashioned hand- 
writing, except about 24 left blank near the middle, in which the author appears not to 
have copied his rough notes. One of these blank pages is headed " Arackan," another 
" Pegu," and another "Tanassaree." The narrative or description begins again at page 
131, with the heading " Janselone." It ends abruptly in the middle of a word, and has 
evidently been rebound, probably in the last century, with the final pages missing. The 
MS. is illustrated with pen and ink drawings generally of scrupulous exactness of detail, 
but quaint ignorance of art, of which a list is given below. 

The countries and places described are " Choromandel," " Pettipolie," " Metch- 
lipatam," " Narsapore," " Maddapolam," " Pollicutt (?) " " Golcondah," " y= Coast of 
Gingalee," " Orixa," " Bengala," " Pattana," " Arackan," (blank) " Pegu," (blank) 
" Tanassaree," (blank) " Oedjange = SaIange, commonly called Janselone," " Queda," 
and " Achin," elsewhere described as " Achin upon Sumatra." 

The illustrations are: a full page drawing of the "Pagod" of " Jno. Gurnaet." 

A full page drawing of a palm grove and part of a temple with a group of Indian 

" The figure of one of the before-mentioned Diabolical Chariots " (of Jno. 

A full page drawing of three fakirs, (or " gymnosophists ") and a figure in 
ornamental dress. 

A family of Hindoos with the mark of Vishnu on the forehead. 


A Suttee — the widow about to throw herself into the funeral pile. 

Two boats — "a Masoola" and "a Cattamaran." 

A drawing (nearly full page) of four trees, viz.: "A P. Pango tree," "Arbor 
triste," "a Palmito," and "a Palmero tree." 

"An Antilops head and neck." 

A full page drawing of Serpent-charmers — the serpents are of stupendous size, 
and with human faces, emitting barbed tongues. This is an exception to the usual 
accuracy of detail — perhaps T.B. was too alarmed to sketch a serpent's head correctly. 

An unfinished drawing (pencil sketch only) of a " Roshbute " (? Rajput) Nabob 
seated cross-legged on a divan, and an attendant. 

" A Palanchino." 

A beautifully executed copy of a decorated dish. 

Two " Hoocars, commonly called hubble-bubble." 

A carefully executed drawing of a " Slip," for hauling up a ship for repairs. 

A Temple at Golcondah. 

A large group of warriors round the figure of a giant called Jansa Bainsah (or 


" The Figure of an Elephant w''' his face directly toward yow." 

A terrible-looking beast, apparently intended for a "Tyger." 

Certain other beasts, apparently wild boars, which he describes as the " uglyest 
of Annimals." 

Some jackals — with a house in the distance. 

A " Rhinocerott," (very carefully drawn). 

A boat called "an Olocko : they row some w'^" 4 : some w'*' 6 owers and ply for a 
"faire as wherries doe in y= Thames." 

"A Budgaree or pleasure boat," 

"A Purgoe," "A Boora," "A Patolla." (Three kinds of boat). 

" A Muske Deere." 

"A Plantan" and "A Samcan." (Two trees). 

A group of bamboos. 

" A man of war Prow." (Prahu or Malayan vessel). 

A pepper-tree. 

A group of fruit trees — two pine-apples. 

A number of curious fish. 

A Buffalo (as our author has evidently been puzzled about the hind legs he has 
concealed them behind trees, in which are numerous monkeys). 

An Alligator. (This is evidently not drawn from life, and has a suspicious resem- 
blance to a common uavi). 

An areca or " betelee-nut " tree, &c. 


An Elephant with magnificent cloth and howdah (the latter unfinished). 

" An Achin cripple." 

An unfinished drawing — apparently intended (when completed) to represent a 
group of houses " upon stilts." 

"A Mangastine Tree" and "A Durian Tree." 

The descriptions are given from actual observation or information gathered on the 
spot, and are most curious and valuable, besides being in the quaintest of language. 
The book e.'ccited great interest in the mind of the late Col. Yule, to whom I lent it, 
and but for his premature death it would probably have been edited by the Hakluyt 
Society. He quotes it repeatedly in his notes on the " Diary of William Hedges," 
(Hakluyt Society, 1877). It will be a pity if it is never laid before the public, but the 
task of editing it and reproducing the illustrations is a heavy one, and ought really to be 
undertaken by some one well acquainted with India and Indian history : but if no one 
else comes forward, I suppose that, if I live, I shall have to do it myself, (provided that 
friends help towards the expense). 

I may mention that, in future English Dictionaries, it will be notified as the first 
book in the English language in which the word "cheroot" is known to have been 

Now as to the authorship of the work. It has been handed down by family tradition 
that "T.B." was a member of the Briggins family, but serious doubt has been thrown 
upon this idea for two reasons. Firstly, no member of the family named in the very 
complete genealogies possesses these initials ; and secondly, no such name can 
be found in the records of the East India Company of a navigator or merchant either as 
a recognised servant of the Company or as an " Interloper," — and a man who 
evidently traded for ten years in these seas is not likely to have been overlooked in days 
when navigators and merchants were few and well known. 

It has been suggested that a certain Captain Bowry whose name appears in Peter 
Briggins' Journal may be the author — this is a clew which I have not j'et been able to 
follow up fully. 

Owing to the doubt about the authorship I have put this description in the 
Appendix rather than among the Briggins histories. 

Note. — Since writing the above I have had much kind help from Mr W. Foster, 
the present Secretary of the Hakluyt Society, in the endeavour to trace the writer, but, 
so far, without success. 


The following Itinerary of Mary Weston's Southern Journey in 1750-51 may be 
of interest, in case any copies of this book should find their way to America. 

From Philadelphia — 



To Wm. Shipley's 




Harrison's Ferry 


West Branch 






Bush River 


Perquimon's Bridge 






Petapsco . - 


Little River 


R. Richardson's 



■ 14 

Widow Pierpoint's 


Simon's Creek 

.. 12 




■ 14 

Col. Blackbourne's 




Rhapahannock R 


Bath Town, cross Bell's Ferry 


The Falls 






White Oak 


Black Creek 


Scot's Tavern, cross New River 






Wine Oak 



.. 18 

John Crew's 


Shallot River 

■ 32 

Barley, or R. Hannicott's 


Long Bay 

- 30 



Wackamow R 

■ «7 

Anselm Bailey's 


George Town 

.. 20 

Pagan Creek 


Parishes, cross 3 Ferries 

.. 28 



Charles Town 








To John's Island 


To George Town 

.. 28 



Widow Allston's 


John Sinclair's 



■ 42 



Lockwood's Folly 

- 27 



RETURN jOURtiEY -co»/ifiued. 



To Carver's Creek 


To Hoe's Ferry 


John Maultby's 




Cape Fear 


Jos. Galloways 


\Vm. Nickolls 




Jno. Cooper's 


Rd. Snowdon's 


White Oak 


Jas. Brooke's 






PampHco River 


Adam Furness' 


Bath Town 




Col. West's 




Chowan River 


Jas. Moon's 


Thos. Newby's 




Murdatis (?) 




Thos. Newby's 




Pagan Creek 




Ward Creek 


Benj. Taylor's 




East Nottingham 


Stephen Dewy's 


Jas. King's 




West Nottingham 

- 20 

The Swamp 

- 28 

Charles Town, Maryland 


J. Winston's 


New Garden 


Jos. Parsons' 


Wm. Miller's 




Thos. Hollingsworth 


Tinker Woodson's 




Fork Creek 




Camp Creek 

• 24 



Thos. Christmass' 


Wm. Brinton's 


Cedar Creek 


Caleb Copeland 










It is a curious fact that there appears to be no mention whatever of the coloured 
population of the Southern States in the Journals, although I suppose they were 
already numerous.